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(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • Matsushita to Start Direct Sales of Personal Computers
  • December 23, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. said it will start direct sales of its "Let's note" notebook personal computers and related products in 1999.
    Also, it said direct sales abroad are under consideration.

    The Let's note series is enjoying brisk sales. Panasonic Computer Company (PCC), an independent organization in Matsushita's corporate structure, will set up the Internet shop and start direct sales to Japanese users by receiving orders online or by means of electronic commerce (EC).

    "We have already started research on the possibility of direct sales abroad, including the role of local partners," said Ryuichi Kurabayashi, president of PCC.

    The Internet shop reportedly targets corporate customers at the beginning. PCC has already started direct sales for the Matsushita group. It intends to expand the target customers after establishing methods for billing and collecting payments.

    Considering the influence to the existing distributors, the Internet shop will not sell strong-selling products such as Let's note alone. The company plans to sell bundled products with peripheral devices and software.

    The Matsushita group has no experience selling PCs overseas. There is a possibility of adopting a business model similar to the way Dell Computer Corp. of the United States is doing business, Kurabayashi said.

    The company is considering several ways of selling such as outsourcing distribution to local companies or choosing carriers as partners. It is necessary to review the product lineup, Kurabayashi noted, as B5-sized notebook PCs are not popular in the United States.

    The company may have to start development from scratch, as it deals with B5-sized notebook PCs as mainstay products, Kurabayashi added.

    (BizTech News Dept.)

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    Updated: Tue Dec 22 21:39:48 1998 PDT