NEC Australia who two weeks prior to Xmas denied that they were set to pull out of the consumer technology market today formally announced that they are quitting the consumer market to concentrate on the Pro AV market. 200 people are set to be retrenched.
The move is not surprising as NEC has failed to get traction with mass retailers for their HD TV range which at times has lagged behind other competitors. Early last year ChannelNews and SmartHouse accused NEC of being poor marketers with Japanese management putting sales ahead of marketing a strategy which we tipped at the time was foolhardy.
Early last year NEC spent thousands showcasing NEC consumer technology at a Sydney Expo however many of those products failed to make it to market. Among them were all in one PC’s, media servers for the home and a new generation of notebooks.
Earlier today NEC announced a strategic restructure of its local business to focus solely on its core ICT/network communication solutions and services with a greater emphasis on delivering service and consultancy to its business and government customers.
The Company claims that the move has been facilitated in response to rapidly changing market conditions in retail, the weakening Australian dollar.
As a result of the restructure, NEC Australia will cease its retail offerings as of 1st March 2009 including whitegoods, consumer appliances, home entertainment as well as consumer LCD and Plasma TVs.
Commercial displays, including digital signage and business projectors, are unaffected by the restructure and NEC will continue to sell this range to the business market via its Display Solutions Division.
Mr Wataru Takeuchi, Managing Director, NEC Australia said: “This move forms part of our strategic evolution towards redefining NEC Australia as a business services company. As such, a decision has been made to withdraw our retail products in order to focus our resources and energy on our key strengths which are our business offerings and our Research and Development capabilities.”
NEC Australia will continue to offer its ongoing support to existing customers by honouring its warranty and extended support agreements.
The restructure will result in approximately 200 staff leaving the business by the end of March through a combination of voluntary and compulsory redundancies, with the majority coming from the Retail division.