TV Direct retailer finds life outside Auckland

Auckland is worth 50% of New Zealand's PC retail market, yet 85% of the PC vendors are fighting over it. With odds like those, newcomer TV Direct decided to all but ignore Auckland and concentrate on the rest of New Zealand. 'Why slug it out in Auckland when there is 50% of the market with only 15% of the competition?' asks manager Steve Hurley.

Auckland is worth 50% of New Zealand's PC retail market, yet 85% of the PC vendors are fighting over it. With odds like those, newcomer TV Direct decided to all but ignore Auckland and concentrate on the rest of New Zealand.

"Why slug it out in Auckland when there is 50% of the market with only 15% of the competition?" asks manager Steve Hurley.

TV Direct sells PCs direct to the SOHO (small office/home office)and consumer markets using only TV advertising. The ads are cheaper outside the Auckland region, so TV Direct targets its products away from New Zealand's largest city.

"We do have some adverts running in Auckland, but the majority of our effort is aimed at the other regions.

"We're a marketing company with a call centre facility," says Hurley, who hopes to expand beyond the PC to selling "any electronic products that a small office may require".

If Hurley's name sounds familiar, it's because he was the New Zealand manager for Fairstar Computers. That company ceased trading after its parent company in Australia collapsed, even though the New Zealand end of the operation was doing well.

"This is an entirely new company with New Zealand backing and different products. The only link between the two is me."

TV Direct has sold 11 systems since its first commercial aired on June 5, with a further 30 contracts in the pipeline at the moment. At full strength, Hurley expects to ship between 80 and 100 units amonth.

"We've been swamped. We can get around 70 calls after the ad is on, which isn't bad for a call centre with five staff and a manager."

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