A hard place?
Kriss Pomroy, the commercial director at Portsmouth based PC-maker Novatech, has spoken exclusively to HEXUS.channel to confirm that they are in discussions with the joint-administrators of Rock, which announced it had gone into administration yesterday.
“We’re in talks with the administrator but I can’t elaborate on how they’re going because we’re at a delicate stage,” said Pomroy.
Asked why things are “delicate”, Pomroy said: “One of the conundrums for us is, with us already well established in the notebook market, where is the extra business going to come from buying Rock that we wouldn’t get anyway from the loss of it as a competitor.”
We pointed out that Rock is probably a better known brand than Novatech in the broader market and while Pomroy conceded that point, he did observe: “They still couldn’t make a business out of selling high-end laptops.”
Rock’s business model differed from Novatech’s most fundamentally in the area of marketing. While Novatech, which has been trading since 1987, has relied on word-of-mouth and customer loyalty to organically grow its business, Rock clearly invested a lot more in brand-building. It is this brand that may be considered Rock’s most valuable asset, but only if it can be properly utilised.
Rock put a fair bit of blame on the shoulders of Paul Bicknell, its former sales manager who apparently ripped Rock off to the tune of £200,000 last year and left them with severe cash-flow problems. The feeling inside the channel, however, is that things weren’t exactly great before that and that Bicknell was the straw that broke the camel’s back.