Hewlett-Packard, the globe’s largest manufacturer of PCs and computer printers since its $19bn acquisition of Compaq Computer last year, is to introduce a quarterly direct-purchase product catalogue targeting two million small and median business customers – the first such move by the company.

It is unlikely to be popular with HP dealers and resellers who fear it will impact adversely on their sales – a problem with which HP has clearly decided to live

Equally clearly, the move targets number two PC-maker Dell Computer, whose highly successful direct sales strategy eschews dealers and has enabled it to remain profitable even while underpricing its rivals.

The new catalogue will offer keen pricing on state-of-the-art products for small and medium enterprises, among them PCs, notebooks, servers, storage and printing equipment.

Although customers will be encouraged to buy direct online or by phone, they will also be pointed toward resellers – especially those companies likely to require ongoing local product support.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff