Lexmark takes to retail strategy

DQW Bureau
28 Jun 2005
New Update


In a bid to boost its cus-tomer-base Lexmark Inter-national (India) has

decided to get into retail. Initially, this activity will be limited to 10

outlets in Mumbai. Based on the response, it will be rolled out to other metros

and A-class cities. The company is investing close to Rs 35,000 in setting up

each of these counters.

The move has come after bringing business to a level of desired efficiency,

informed Pradeep Kamath, GM, Lexmark International-India. "Now, Lexmark is

getting involved in direct activities that increase the company's customer

interaction," he said, adding that the year 2005 is a turning point for


Lexmark has identified 10 locations to set up its counters. While some of

these are the traditional IT-channel partner outlets, lifestyle stores and malls

are also on the agenda.


Kamath stated that the customer mindset in changing even though IT retailing

has not come of age. He cited this as the driver behind Lexmark's decision to

exhibit its offering in consumer electronics outlets as well. "Products

like photo printers are gaining acceptance, which is why we feel that our

retailing endeavor will succeed," he said.

Initially, Lexmark will work with those retail outlets, which will give its

floor space free. The company is leveraging on its Lexmark Express Door-to-Door

Warranty to get retailers stock its products. "We are taking away the

headache of warranty support from our partners, while giving them a reason for

more footfalls, which can translate into sales of other peripheral items as

well," said Kamath.

The company has also sig-ned-up with an HR outfit that will provide people to

demo-nstrate these products to customers. "The store staff may not have the

skillset to hardsell the brand," elabora-ted Kamath. Recently, Lex-mark

rolled out a channel program called Don't Need Approval (DNA) for its part-ners.

It has around 140 Diam-ond partners and 700 Prem-ium partners with 300 active

members in the latter. Under the program, Diamond part-ners can design a

promotional scheme for the Premium partners, without the approval of the vendor.

This is a slab-based scheme, where based on the targets met by partner he can

claim expenses of the promotional activity.

Vinita Bhatia