Panasonic, who are looking for aggressive expansion across several categories, has moved to outsource a large part of their sales, training and store merchandising operations to US Company Crossmark who have more than 2,000 employees in Australia.
According to Panasonic CEO Steve Rust the move will give Panasonic extensive reach across Australia including rural and metro areas that they are currently struggling to service.
“More importantly it will allow Panasonic to expand the categories that we compete in” said Rust who indicated that he is looking to move into the hardware market with a range of electrical tools that Panasonic sell in Japan and into healthcare and grooming markets, via pharmacy and Supermarket chains.
“We will retain our direct relationships with the big retailers where we are selling our consumer electronics goods, but we will outsource our selling merchandising and in the future training which is a costly overhead” said Rust.
“Primarily, we are looking to expand our selling capability across Australia especially in the smaller outlets where Crossmark is already operating. We are also looking at bringing a lot of new products into Australia and it makes sense to use an operation like Crossmark as they have over 2,000 full and part time staff who are dealing everyday with pharmacies, supermarkets, hardware chains and other retail outlets where we believe, we can range and sell, Panasonic products that we are not currently bringing into Australia”.
Last month, as a forerunner to the Crossmark announcement, Panasonic Australia announced a major restricting of their Australian operation with the laying off of over 20 staff.
Rust said that 11 Panasonic sales staff in the New South Wales office have been offered positions with Crossmark.
More to follow.