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by Stuart Wilson, Thursday 19 April 2012

The Middle East Retail Academy (MERA) has announced the official vendor nominations for its 2012 awards. Hundreds of senior retail executives from across the region will vote live for the overall winners across 11 product categories during a Gala Dinner held on May 16th in conjunction with DISTREE Middle East. The shortlist of vendor nominations has been constructed using continuous feedback data from retailers during the last 12 months.

A total of 38 vendors have received official nominations for the fifth annual MERA Awards with nine of these companies appearing in multiple product categories. Samsung lead the way with six nominations, followed by Sony with five, Canon and Microsoft with three, plus two apiece for HP, Toshiba, LG, Logitech and Belkin.

“All nominated vendors should be proud of their achievement, which marks them out as a clear top five brand in the product categories they have been nominated for,” stated Farouk Hemraj, CEO at DISTREE Events, the organisers of DISTREE Middle East. “We collect feedback from retailers each month on their preferred brands in specific product categories. This data is used to define the vendor nominations.”

“We look forward to welcoming representatives from all nominated vendors to the ‘MERA: 2012 Awards’ Gala Dinner on May 16th to celebrate their achievement in the company of the region’s leading ICT and consumer electronics (CE) retailers,” Hemraj added.

The full list of nominated vendors for the ‘MERA: 2012 Awards’ listed in alphabetical order per category are as follows:

PCs: Retail Vendor of the Year – Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba

Digital Lifestyle: Retail Vendor of the Year – Canon, LG, Merlin, Samsung, Sony

Accessories: Retail Vendor of the Year – Belkin, Genius, Logitech, Microsoft, Promate

Imaging: Retail Vendor of the Year – Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Samsung, Sony

Storage: Retail Vendor of the Year – Buffalo, Iomega, Sandisk, Seagate, WD

Printing: Retail Vendor of the Year – Brother, Canon, HP, Samsung, Xerox

Home Networking: Retail Vendor of the Year – Belkin, D-Link, Edimax, Cisco Linksys, Sitecom

Gaming: Retail Vendor of the Year – Logitech, Microsoft, Nintendo, Razer, Sony

Mobile Communications: Retail Vendor of the Year – Acer, Blackberry, HTC, Nokia, Samsung

TVs: Retail Vendor of the Year – LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba

Software: Retail Vendor of the Year – Bitdefender, Kaspersky, Microsoft, Serif, Symantec

Please note that Apple was initially nominated in the top five vendors for both the Digital Lifestyle and Mobile Communications product category. However, in line with Apple’s policy not to participate in awards of this nature, the Middle East Retail Academy (MERA) has removed Apple from both categories and replaced them with the next vendor in line to receive an official nomination. This explanation as part of MERA’s commitment to full disclosure and determination to ensure that the MERA vendor selection process continues to be as open and transparent as possible.

The ‘MERA: 2012 Awards’ take place in conjunction with DISTREE Middle East, the region’s leading annual event for the ICT and consumer electronics retail channel, which runs from May 15-17th in Fujairah, UAE.

The vendor awards are designed to recognise excellence in the Middle East retail channel. This means that retailers are invited to judge vendors on the quality of their channel engagement and overall consumer go-to-market model – not simply on the volume of product sold – when they cast their live electronic vote during the Gala Dinner.

The nominations are based on information collected from retailers for the MERA Monthly Monitor Report (MMR). The data collected from the last 12 months is collated and the number of positive mentions for each vendor is calculated with the top five by number of mentions receiving an official nomination. Please note that the PCs category contains six nominations due to two vendors receiving the same number of mentions.

About MERA

The Middle East Retail Academy (MERA) is an independent trade organisation uniting retailers, distributors and vendors working in the region’s ICT & CE retail channel. MERA members contribute to the Monthly Monitor Report (MMR), providing them with access to retail trends and insight into sales, pricing and business confidence levels across the region. The annual ‘MERA Awards’ offer an independent platform for recognising channel excellence.

DISTREE Middle East 2012

DISTREE Middle East is the ultimate professional networking event for senior executives from the consumer electronics, digital device and ICT products retail channel in the Middle East region. DISTREE Middle East is a focused event for retail executives based on the successful concept of bringing high-level buyers from emerging markets into productive contact with vendors.

More than 60 vendors met over 170 retail executives at DISTREE Middle East 2011. The total delegate base exceeded 500 and more than 1,100 pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings took place during the event. DISTREE Middle East regularly attracts hundreds of senior executives from the region’s consumer electronics, digital device and ICT products retail channel. These include the powerful buyers and decision makers responsible for product selection for the retailers they represent.

Not only is DISTREE Middle East a powerful business platform, it is also an annual networking function allowing vendors to meet face-to-face with both existing and potential new retail partners from across the region.

For retail executives, attending DISTREE Middle East is time well spent. In just three days you can hold dozens of face-to-face meetings with existing and potential new vendors, meet with your peers from across the region, find out more about the latest industry trends and market data. All this at one exclusive event: DISTREE Middle East - the ‘must-attend’ event for vendors and retailers associated with the region’s consumer electronics, digital device and ICT products channel. www.distree-me.com

Vendors, retailers and distributors wishing to participate at DISTREE Middle East 2012, which takes place from 15-17th May, should contact fhemraj@distree.com quoting code DME12 for full details.


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