Gizmondo secures UK distribution deal
Gizmondo Europe has signed an agreement with Andromeda Entertainment and Just Distribution to distribute a total of 100,000 units across the UK over the next 12 months.
Andromeda supplies consoles and games to the UK mail order industry, and describes itself as the largest specialist supplier to this market. It will distribute 60,000 of the Gizmondo units.
"Andromeda is fulfilling supply following great interest in Gizmondo from the mail order side of the market," said CEO Robert Stein. "From our perspective the home shopping sector has really bought into Gizmondo."
The remaining 40,000 handhelds will be distributed by Just Distribution, which has been supplying independent retailers with games hardware and software since 2001.
"Gizmondo genuinely understands the critical importance of the independent retail channel," said Just Distribution director Andrew Blumson. "The multiple price points of the hardware, especially the Smart Add-enabled version at Â£129, are being viewed with particular interest."
Gizmondo is also working in partnership with DVC Sales to build product awareness amongst both independents and multiples. The contract sales firm already has deals with household brands such as Electronic Arts, Sony Ericsson, Vodafone and JVC.
"Much of the Gizmondo marketing activity thus far has been focused on the introduction of the brand and communicating the six core functions of the device to audiences in and around major UK cities," Gary MacManus, joint Managing Director of DVC Sales.
"Our initial role will be to continue that communication down to store level and build on the excitement already there, to generate consumer awareness, footfall in store, visibility, and sales for our retail partners."
UK independent retailers have welcomed news of the agreement, according to Gizmondo. "Just Distribution represents everything a quality distributor stands for, and here at Lakeside shopping centre, we welcome Gizmondo as a new and refreshing product line," said Gordon Peel, co-founder and director of That'z Entertainment.
Paul Kenwright, director of Virtual Games, added: "We will be fully committed in supporting Gizmondo from launch across all 8 stores."
Carl Freer, co-founder and chairman of Tiger Telematics - Gizmondo's parent company - said he welcomed the deal as part of a long term strategy. "This is a strategic partnership that we believe will work extremely well for our projected hardware and software range, especially at this stage in our company's growth," he said.
The Gizmondo launched in the UK on March 19 and is currently available from branches of John Lewis, Carphone Warehouse and GameStation. There is also a dedicated flagship store on London's Regent Street, and more are planned for 21 cities around the globe. The console launches in Europe on May 19.