Ingram Micro Extends Outlet Program to U.S.

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print


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The distributor is expanding to the United States an outlet program it has offered in Canada since 2004 that sells refurbished and discontinued products.

Ingram Micro is extending what has been its Canadian-only outlet program—selling refurbished and discontinued products—to solution providers and other channels in the United States.

The company announced the program June 12, saying it meets a significant demand in the marketplace for end-of-life technology.

"Technology is moving so fast today that yesterday's hot technology is quickly replaced by new products," said Tim Billing, vice president, North America retail and Internet sales, and the executive sponsor for Ingram Micro Outlet Canada and United States. "A good example is notebooks. Discontinued notebooks still have a very strong demand in the marketplace."

Ingram Micro began offering these products as an option for VARs and other channels in 2004. The success of that program has driven its extension in the U.S. market.

The more attractive price points available with these refurbished or discontinued products can offer an attractive option to VARs and their customers.

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"It may meet the needs of a particular solution that a VAR is selling," said Billing, again pointing to the notebook example. "A notebook may have been recently been discontinued because a new model has been released, but the technology is still very current."

In Canada where the program got its start, VARs represented a "significant" portion of the overall business for such products, according to Billing. However, the company also offers these types of products through online retailers that target the consumer space. Technologies such as plasma televisions are popular choices for channels such as these.

Ingram Micro ships the products to end-customers in that case, just as it does with VAR partners.

In the past, vendor channels for such products were "very fragmented," Billing said, adding that vendors often looked to secondary geographies and unreliable channels. Vendors have welcomed Ingram Micro's outlet program, and Billing believes more opportunity lies ahead.

As product cycles continue to shorten, said Billing, Ingram Micro will be seeing more and more of this kind of product in the marketplace.

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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