EXCLUSIVE: Bowers & Wilkins To Set Up Local Subsidiary, Convoy To Do Logistics
British sound Company Bowers + Wilkins which is now owned by US Company Eva Automation, is set to establish their own subsidary in Australia, they are also tipped to role out a major marketing campaign for several new products later this year.
Bowers & Wilkins is said to be close to launching a brand new networked audio system, following the aquisition of Bowers & Wilkins
The British sound Company will retain Convoy as their current distributor, for both distribution and reverse logistics, Convoy will not be responsible for selling Bowers& Wilkins products in Australia going forward.
ChannelNews understands that Bowers & Wilkins has hired John Martin the General Manager of brands at Convoy as part of their new sales operation in Australia.
In a statement issued to ChannelNews the British Company announced the establishment of its Australian subsidiary Bowers & Wilkins Australia Pty Limited.
Based in Chatswood NSW Bowers & Wilkins Australia will market and distribute Bowers & Wilkins products to the Australian market effective August 2017.
Lars Hundborg – Bowers & Wilkins CEO Asia/Pacific – said “Australia is a key strategic market for the Bowers & Wilkins Group and we are proud to have established Bowers & Wilkins Australia which will allow us to get closer to the Australian customer. Convoy International has been a fantastic support – and indeed guardian – of the brand for over +40 years. We’re delighted to also confirm that Convoy will continue their association by managing the entire supply chain and Tech Support for us. We are thrilled to now have the opportunity to support our existing dealers and customers directly, to look for and develop new customer opportunities and to learn more about the Australian market”.
Geoff Matthews – CEO Convoy – said “For the longest of times Convoy has been Bowers & Wilkins in Australia. Through a lot of hard work, dedication and a consistent marketing directive we have grown Australia to be consistently in the top 10 markets globally something we take great pride in and naturally we will miss that”. We will be writing to our retail partners shortly to advise further on details associated with the changeover. I can confirm Convoy will halt sales and commence distribution and technical support services on 1st August 2017.
In a joint statement Lars Hundborg and Geoff Matthews said “Convoy International will continue to work closely with Bowers & Wilkins Australia as Convoy will continue to handle all third party Logistics and After Sales Service for the new venture. As Convoy know the products and the dealers this will ensure continuous stability and high quality in supply and service”.
12 months ago Eva Automation a Silicon Valley Company that was co-founded by three entrepreneurs acquired Bowers & Wilkins the maker of the popular Zeppelin player and the Nautilus and 800 Series speakers.
ChannelNews has been told that the Company is close to launching a high res multi room system that will compete head on with Sonos, Bluesound and Heos by Denon, a new range of headphones are also planned.
At this stage it’s not known whether Bowers & Wilkins will sell direct in Australia similar to what Sonos has recently done in Australia.
What we do know is that Bowers & Wilkins, recently hired Droga5 London to handle its global advertising account after a three-way battle.
The agency beat Mother and VCCP in a process run by Oystercatchers according to Campaign, It’s is the first time that B&W has appointed an ad agency.
Droga5 will initially create a campaign to launch new headphones across multiple markets including Australia, in the final quarter of this year. The work is likely to include print, film, digital, events and in-store marketing.
The headphones will incorporate new technology developed by EVA Automation.
EVA was founded by former Facebook chief financial officer Gideon Yu with the intention of competing in the connected-home market.
Danny Haikin, brand director at B&W, said: “We are at the next chapter in the Bowers & Wilkins story, with high ambitions for the brand’s narrative and the products we are about to launch.”
Yu, a former Facebook and YouTube executive, aquired Bowers & Wilkins with investments from tech executives and investment fund Formation 8, this is the same Company that invested in Oculus before it was purchased by Facebook.
At the time of aquiring the Company Eva Automation said that all of their new products will be sold under the Bowers & Wilkins brand not under the Eva Automation brand.
In a post on Eva’s website, Yu said at the time: “Since I founded EVA Automation two years ago, we have been working hard to create fantastic home A/V user experiences. When it was time to seek out partners for our journey ahead, Bowers & Wilkins was unquestionably our #1 choice, and after I met Joe and his team, it was immediately clear that we share the same long term product vision and sincere passion for home entertainment.”
Bowers & Wilkins was founded in 1966 by John Bowers and Roy Wilkins, who started the company by hand-assembling speaker systems for local clients in Worthing, West Sussex, England.