Renaissance Brands will set up a separate business unit to manage NEC Computers PC business, aiming to expand commercial and retail sales and boost marketing.
Renaissance general manager Mark Dasent says the unit will focus on demand generation, localised marketing and channel programme implementation.
Tim Falinski, NEC's regional sales director for Australasia, says the unit will have a combined headcount of about seven or eight, with plans to increase this soon. He says negotiations are under way to transfer three staff from NEC Computers to Renaissance.
Dasent says the NEC opportunity fits with Renaissance's business strategy as it is a brand that is arguably underperforming with room for growth.
"It's the number one brand in Japan but in its early stages of development in New Zealand," he says.
Dasent says the brand has excellent sales and support and a one-year on-site warrantly will be offered on NEC laptops, a deal he says will be a first in New Zealand.
In the 1990s, NEC's attempts to take on the local market fizzled, embroiling the company in a legal dispute with its local distributor in 1999.
Falinski says the NEC Computer brand has since been in the market consistently for seven-and-a-half years. Market share is in the 2% to 3% range.
Dasent says he sees opportunities in the SMB market, but retail will also be a focus. Yogesh Patel, formerly of Ingram Micro, has been appointed to lead Renaissance's NEC division.
Renaissance recently lost its exclusive distributorship of Apple computers in New Zealand. Last year the company bought the Magnum Mac retail chain. The growing relationship with NEC was first signalled in April last year.