News that Apple has revisited its distribution model in New Zealand and has pulled the exclusivity that Renaissance group has/had for Apple products.

Two issues to discuss here – Lance has already posted congratulating Apple’s move saying that;

…I have to say that I’m glad. Their service was really not up to scratch, and they lost my business to the online store the day it opened.

Lance’s comment (and similar anecdotal evidence I’ve seen from elsewhere) suggest that Renaissance merely rode on the coat tails of Apple’s ascendancy here in New Zealand. They enjoyed increased sales through a higher level of “brand equity” (thanks Paul for seeding that little term!), without rally adding any value for consumers, or even providing a level of service commensurate with the design (and price) of the products they were selling.

On a second note, and to balance the brickbat, I have to say that Renaissance have been smart. They could see Apple’s move coming and have placed themselves well to be a diversified operation without relying completely on Apple product sales. In the past year or so they have invested in other businesses, mst notable buying New Zealand wide retailer MagnumMac and design/technology education provider NatColl.

The MagnumMac acquisition gives them some protection from other sales channels for Apple products by having a good degree of vertical integration. The NatColl purchase gives them a well diversified revenue stream in a high growth area and one which (as a bonus) is a high user of the Apple products and services that they still sell.

So both brickbats and bouquets for Renaissance today!

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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