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‘MERA: 2010 Awards’ – VENDOR WINNERS

by Stuart Wilson, Monday 24 May 2010

There were ten vendor awards up for grabs at the ‘Middle East Retail Academy (MERA): 2010 Awards’ held last week in the UAE in conjunction with Digital Consumer Channel (DCC) Middle East & Africa (MEA). Hundreds of retail executives from across MEA voted live using electronic devices to determine the winner of each vendor award. Belkin and HP were the night’s big winners, scooping two vendor awards each.

“The MERA vendor awards offer valuable insight into how vendors are actually perceived in the Middle East channel by the retailers themselves,” explained Farouk Hemraj, organiser of the ‘MERA: 2010 Awards’. “Before the awards ceremony there is an extensive selection process to determine the names of the five nominees that face the live electronic vote. We pass on our congratulations to all those vendors that made the final five.”

“The vendors that won awards should take great pride in their achievement,” he added. “They have shown that their current channel engagement strategy with retailers in the Middle East is both successful and appreciated."

HP stormed back to take the ‘Desktop/Notebooks/Netbooks: Retail Vendor of the Year’ award for the first time in 2010, beating the challenge from rival nominees Acer, Dell, Lenovo and Toshiba. At the ‘MERA: 2009 Awards’, Acer and Sony tied for the coveted prize while Dell had walked away with the accolade in 2008. This year’s result means that four separate vendors have held this prize (including two simultaneously) in the last three years, demonstrating the dynamic nature of this product category.

HP also picked up the ‘Printing: Retail Vendor of the Year’ award with Brother, Canon, Epson and Samsung also nominated. This was the first year that printing had its own dedicated category, having previously been combined with peripherals. HP had also emerged victorious in 2009 when the category was ‘Peripherals & Printing: Retail Vendor of the Year’.

Belkin also managed to pick up two vendor awards at the ‘MERA: 2010 Awards’. Belkin was named ‘Accessories: Retail Vendor of the Year’, fighting off fierce competition from fellow nominees Genius, Logitech, Microsoft and Targus to secure the honour.

While the Belkin delegates in attendance were pleased to secure their first award for accessories, they were ecstatic to win their second of the evening. Belkin was named ‘Home Networking: Retail Vendor of the Year’ edging ahead of Cisco in an extremely close live vote. Buffalo, D-Link and Netgear were also nominated for this award.

Apple continued its dominance of the ‘Digital Lifestyle: Retail Vendor of the Year’ award, winning the coveted prize for the second year in a row, confirming the vendor’s brand strength in the Middle East retail channel. Logitech, Merlin, Philips and Samsung also received nominations in this category.

The ‘Imaging: Retail Vendor of the Year’ also made its debut at the ‘MERA: 2010 Awards’ with Canon emerging victorious as 100-plus retail executives voted live. The other official nominees for this award were Nikon, Olympus, Samsung and Sony.

WD was named ‘Storage: Retail Vendor of the Year’ for 2010 in a category that also included Imation, Iomega, SanDisk and Seagate.

Sony picked up the ‘Gaming: Retail Vendor of the Year’ accolade for its success with the PlayStation in the Middle East. EA, Logitech, Microsoft and Nintendo made up the five official nominees in this category.

The ‘Mobile Communications: Retail Vendor of the Year’ category also saw its third different winner in the last three years. BlackBerry picked up the 2010 award, fighting off a stiff challenge from Apple, HTC, Nokia and Samsung – the other four nominees. This award had been won by Nokia in 2009, with HTC emerging victorious in 2008.

Samsung’s consistency in the TV product category showed no signs of faltering at this year’s award. Samsung made it a superb hat trick of successes in the ‘LCD/Plasma TVs: Retail Vendor of the Year’, as retailers voted for the Korean vendor giant for the third year in succession. LG, Panasonic, Philips and Sony were also nominated for this award in 2010.

The full list of vendor winners is below:

Desktop/Notebooks/Netbooks: Retail Vendor of the Year – HP

Digital Lifestyle: Retail Vendor of the Year – Apple

Accessories: Retail Vendor of the Year – Belkin

Imaging: Retail Vendor of the Year – Canon

Storage: Retail Vendor of the Year – WD

Printing: Retail Vendor of the Year – HP

Home Networking: Retail Vendor of the Year – Belkin

Gaming: Retail Vendor of the Year – Sony

Mobile Communications: Retail Vendor of the Year – Blackberry

LCD/Plasma TVs: Retail Vendor of the Year – Samsung

In total, more than 500 delegates involved in the Middle East retail channel participated in the ‘MERA: 2010 Awards’ and DCC MEA. The ‘MERA: 2011 Awards’ will again take place in the UAE in conjunction with DCC MEA. Companies interested in sponsorship opportunities for the ‘MERA: 2011 Awards, should contact fhemraj@distreevents.com at the earliest opportunity.


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