HP India to increase retail outlets to 1,000 by Oct 2003

In a move to reach out to an increasing number of customers in India, HP
India Ltd plans to more than double its retail outlets in the country. Apart
from retail outlets, it envisages consumers to experience and enjoy digital
imaging the HP way in its `Concept Stores’, to be opened across the country,

In the press offsite held at the Ananda Resort, near Narendra Nagar in
Tehri-Garhwal district, HP India announced plans to further strengthen the
retail business in India, which it acquired as part of Compaq’s merger with
itself. According to Ravi Aggarwal, Director (Imaging and Printing Group), HP
India, the company would increase the present number of 450 outlets in 200
cities to 1,000, that will cover 280 cities in the country by October 2003.
These stores will sell the entire range of consumer products, which will include
Compaq Presario home PCs and notebooks, handhelds, inkjet printers, photo-smart
color printers, scanners, consumer and commercial all-in-ones, entry-level laser
printers, supplies and an extensive range of papers.

Besides these outlets, HP India also plans to open `Concept Stores’ in about
eight large cities where the entire range of consumer and commercial products
will be demonstrated. "These stores will not have a selling orientation,
rather they will provide consumers new ways to experience and enjoy digital
imaging," elaborated Aggarwal, adding that these concept stores would also
guide consumers in making appropriate decisions.

According to Aggarwal, of the existing 8,000 odd resellers that HP currently
has, about 1,000 are expected to start HP exclusive retail outlets in their
cities. On its part, the company will extend the support by supplying equipment
and experts to these outlets to aid customers.

HP India said that it would also strengthen its support infrastructure to
complement the retail chain in 280 cities. In these cities, the company will
have authorized professionals, who will provide after sales service to the
customer. Aggarwal, however, declined to disclose the amount of investment HP
India will make in setting up the retail chain. He said that consumers are
expected to purchase higher end products from the retail outlets.

During the press offsite, HP India also launched a series of new Deskjet and
Laserjet printers. The new additions include a Bluetooth-enabled portable color
printer at Rs 15,999; HP’s first sub Rs 75,000 color laser printer; the fastest
color HP LaserJet printer featuring wide-format in-line printing; and new
connectivity products that support printer maintenance, management and wireless

The new lineup of HP color printers and connectivity products are targeted at
mobile professionals, SOHO/SMB, enterprise users, print service providers and
graphics professionals. Said Nitin Hiranandani, Commercial Country Category
Manager (IPG), HP India, "Just as color adds another dimension to business
documents, we want to provide customers with the capability to realize their
color printing aspirations beyond expectations."

Aggarwal also said that HP’s worldwide printer initiative targeted just about
four percent of the digital printing market so far.

"We would take measures to expand our share by entering the rest of the
96 percent market through the release of several new products in the coming

Cyber News Service

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