Ingram Micro Folds Consumer Electronics Unit into IT Operations

Distributor re-brands DBL Distribution, looks to capitalize on CE/IT convergence.

January 9, 2010

D.H. Kass

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Ingram Micro Inc. said it will fold a consumer electronics business it purchased two and one-half years ago into its overall IT portfolio to leverage blurring lines between the two technologies and the distributor’s greater economies of scale.

Company officials said that the distributor’s DBL Distributing arm, which houses some 20,000 consumer electronics products from about 500 lines, will be re-framed as a formal Ingram business unit. DBL’s vendor lineup includes well-known manufacturers Sony, Philips and Samsung, and a private-label audio and video line called NXG Technology.

The distributor said the new unit will be rebranded as the Ingram Micro Consumer Electronics Division to its base of resellers but will retain the well-known DBL name within the CE industry. Under the arrangement, both Ingram’s and DBL’s channel partners will be able to source products through the distributor’s procurement operation.

The CE unit will operate as a separate line of business housed at its current location in Scottsdale, AZ. Its lineup of CE products will be migrated to Ingram’s product warehouses.

“As the convergence of CE and IT products continues to grow, Ingram Micro has positioned itself as the leader in the industry through careful planning and execution,” said John Soumbasakis, Ingram senior vice president, strategic divisions.

Soumbasakis said that the distributor made the move to leverage DBL’s and Ingram’s channel network to prompt sales growth in the two technologies.

“The formation of our Ingram Micro Consumer Electronics Division represents a key milestone in our company’s growth strategy and will serve as a catalyst for generating growth from consumer electronics and IT products with loyal Ingram Micro partners as well as the 30,000 plus DBL consumer electronics retailers.”

Soumbasakis said that the arrangement enables DBL’s retailers to source IT products--and Ingram’s channel partners to source CE products--from a single source. Ingram’s vendors will also be able to tap into CE’s large lineup of retailers.

Ingram purchase DBL in June 2007 for about $100 million. At the time, DBL employed about 350 people and reported 2006 sales of $300 million, after posting four years of double-digit sales growth.

DBL gains from move

Brent McCarty, DBL vice president and general manager, said that the CE distributor would benefit from Ingram’s resources and logistics strength.

“We are embracing the Ingram Micro name to showcase our strengths as a focused consumer electronics distributor, while leveraging the resources and operational efficiencies of a Fortune 100 logistics company,” he said.

Ingram said that DBL’s retailers will have access to the distributor’s credit arm, product merchandising, marketing support, real-time inventory and logistics expertise.

“DBL has developed an expertise in assisting our retail partners with product merchandising and marketing for their online and offline storefronts,” Soumbasakis said.

“The new division will expand on this expertise and add-in credit and logistics benefits not offered by other competing distributors,” he said.

Ingram said that Avad, its wholly-owned subsidiary focused on custom electronics, which it bought some four years ago, will continue to run as a separate operation.

TAGS: marketing,partners,Ingram Micro,consumer electronics,DBL Distribution

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