Ingram Bulks Up Own V7 Line, May Drop Some Vendors

"In some cases, we might have too many vendors. We are focused on our 'A' brands and important 'B' brands. There might be opportunity to consolidate vendors in specific product categories so we can focus more on 'A' partners." said Rainer Kozlik, vice president and general manager of Ingram Micro's V7 division. "We have, for example, 43 [display] vendors? Do we need 43 [display] vendors? I don't think so."

Ingram's V7 line of both TVs and monitors could replace some of its lower-volume vendors, Kozlik said. Ingram sells V7 LCD TVs from 22 inches to 42 inches, monitors from 15 inches to 24 inches, The V7 brand was launched about 10 years ago in Europe and introduced in the United States in 2005 with an initial line of monitors. Pricing for V7 products is about 5 percent to 25 percent less than similar products by top-tier manufacturers, depending on the product category, Kozlik said.

Also this year, Ingram Micro plans to introduce V7-branded products manufactured by some of its existing vendor partners this year. The first example was introduced this week at CES 2008: networking cables made by Belkin, Kozlik said. The cables, branded "V7 cables manufactured by Belkin," includes CAT5e, CAT6, USB, fiber optic, VGA and DVI offerings.

The distributor is negotiating a deal to co-brand laptop bags and cases manufactured by Targus, Kozlik said. Other V7-branded accessories manufactured by OEMs but not co-branded by another vendor will include ink toners and batteries, Kozlik said.

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The V7 products are available to solution providers, and some consumer electronics products such as GPS navigation devices and digital picture frames will be available through retailers, executives said. Globally, about 60 percent of V7 products are sold through resellers and the remainder through retailers, he said. The percentage through VARs is much greater in the U.S., said Jeffrey Friederichs, senior manager of global marketing and sales for V7.