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January 6, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:36pm

HP CHOOSES UK TO TRY OUT PLAN TO INCREASE RETAIL PRESENCE

By CBR Staff Writer

Hewlett-Packard Co is hoping to attract the small to medium business user with a one-stop-shop approach called HP Office Center, which it will begin trialling in the UK before expanding it worldwide if it proves a success. The company says it can supply all the components required by a small business, such as personal computers, scanners, printers, network products, and most importantly, onestop support. While these components have been available individually in the retail market before now, the company says the HP Office Center concept brings them all together as a package. To deliver the Office Center, Hewlett is signing up existing independent retailers, who must commit to devoting at least 150 square feet of floor space to the HP Office Center display. They may be existing Hewlett-Packard retailers, selling perhaps Hewlett printers, who want to expand to the whole product range. Third party services company Netfire Ltd, which is run by ex-Hewlett-Packard veteran John Mostyn, has been enlisted to help in the recruitment drive. The company has set a target of 200 retailers in the first year. The retailers will get training in all Hewlett products, and will benefit from national and local marketing initiatives, including a national television campaign, Hewlett-Packard says. The company itself will offer support for all Office Center packages, including remote diagnostics and support. It is also hoping to offer financial services as part of the package, and has signed up UK tax accountants Clark Whitehill to provide value-added tax advice. If the project proves successful in the UK, Hewlett says it will consider an international roll-out.

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