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The [Tech] Crowd formally launched the Channel Dragons programme last month with a roster of members drawn from the world of IT distribution, ranging from broadliners such as Tech Data UK through to specialist value-add players such as Spire Technology.
The programme uses a Dragons’ Den format to put emerging tech vendors in front of key channel players who can increase their exposure to the channel.
The addition of Dixons Retail to the panel will offer a more significant outlet for emerging vendors, claimed the [Tech] Crowd. Dixons Retail employs over 31,000 people in 12 markets and claims to serve over 100 million customers every year.
It also neatly underscores Dixons’ own plans to bring more new technology to consumer retail. The retailer is in a strong position at the moment, following "lively" trading over Christmas 2013 and its strongest first half in some time.
Taking their seats on the increasingly fearsome panel will be Dixons head of category (computing), Dean Kramer, and head of OEM computing, Dave Ward.
“We are constantly striving to find the latest cutting-edge technology for our customers. The Channel Dragons initiative is a brilliant way to identify some of these, whilst also offering smaller, independent suppliers a vital spring board,” said Dean Kramer.
“Our multi-channel business provides an excellent environment to showcase, explain and demonstrate the benefits of these often complex innovations.”
Channel Dragons mastermind and [Tech] Crowd MD Jamie Plumridge said the addition of a partner with a more widely-known profile outside the channel signalled the next phase of the programme’s development.
“Not only will vendors benefit from the impressive existing reach of the UK’s 10 most influential distributors, they could now benefit from the unmatched reach and brand equity of the Dixons Group, and exposure to many millions of consumers at a far earlier stage than they would otherwise find possible,” he explained.