I am writing regarding the article which appeared in Marketing Week entitled “Matsushita plans own network to bypass high-street retailers” (MW October 20).
I am extremely concerned at the content of this article, stating as it does that Matsushita Electric “is believed to be planning a network of retail outlets in the UK to bypass established retailers”. There is no truth whatsoever in this statement. The facts are as follows.
Panasonic UK Ltd has the sole responsibility for distributing consumer electronic products under the “Panasonic” and “Technics” brand names within the UK market. Our overall objective is to maximise sales through all available sales routes while enhancing brand image and customer satisfaction. We currently supply over 1,200 accounts representing nearly 6,000 outlets including the major High Street multiples, independent electrical retailers, department stores, mail order and catalogue companies.
In the independent electrical retail sector, Panasonic has for many years promoted the concept of ‘PanaService’ dealers, who offer first class pre and post-sales service to the consumer. There are currently over 160 such dealers operating more than 450 outlets, almost all of which handle a number of brands in addition to Panasonic/Technics.
At the same time however, a number of these dealers have chosen to operate single-brand retailing operations and I assume that these are the “dedicated Panasonic shops” referred to in the article.
There are over 20 of these outlets already in the UK (not two as claimed in the article) trading as “Panasonic/Technics Centres” but, as acknowledged in the article, they are owned by their respective retailers with Panasonic having no direct financial interest in their operation.
Sales and marketing director
Panasonic Consumer Electronics