Laser Corporation Sledging Of Concern To Retailers
The battle between Laser Corporation who funded a million-dollar management raid of Brisbane based distributor The Crest Company, in an effort to grow their business are facing major hurdles with retailers not happy with the sledging coming from the new Laser management who are trying to get new supply contracts out of retailers.
One week out from when Channelnews broke the story that Michael Tompkins and Alister Shakes had quit The Crest Company to join Laser Corporation, Chris Lau the CEO of Laser categorically denied that he had signed Tomkins who several months earlier had been hawking his skills to Sydney based distributor Tempo.
Now Laser Corporation management are trying to discredit The Crest Company management who are highly respected by key retailers in the consumer electronics market.
7 days after denying that he had hired Tomkins, Lau confirmed that the former Crest Company executive was actually joining the Company with insiders telling ChannelNews that Tomkins had spent months weeks hatching a plan to get other Crest staff to join him including Alister Shakes a former JB HI Fi buyer.
According to retail sources Shakes, has not been shy when it comes to trying to discredit The Crest Company with one major retail group where he has a relationship with a senior merchandising executive.
Crest who have major partnerships with several key retailers and are highly respected in the industry having been a key partner of retailers for over 40 years.
Laser who also recruited Crest staff in China sells cheap consumer electronics technology products under different brands to retailers and of late, has mounted a major push into the connected home market having partnered with Harvey Norman to supply smart light globes and switches for their Smart Home initiative.
They are now looking to establish a relationship with JB Hi Fi a major customer of The Crest Company an account Tompkins managed while at Crest.
ChannelNews understands that Tomkins has told other distributors when he was hawking his services around that he could” land further business at JB Hi Fi” if he was employed by them.
We have also been told that legal letters have been sent by Crest Management to the Laser Corporation threatening legal action over the hiring of former The Crest Company management.
ChannelNews understands that Tomkins contract was officially signed hours after contractual contracts with The Crest Company had expired.
One issue of contention is whether Tomkins ‘induced’ other staff to leave Crest for Laser Corporation who are also major suppliers to Big W.
Tomkins joined The Crest Company from E3 a former supplier to retailers who lost a legal fight with The Crest Company three years ago.
This is the second time that Tomkins has found himself involved in legal fights with questions raised about the value of his relationship with retailers.
A senior director of a major retailer said, “Retailers don’t like messy fights among suppliers, one tends to avoid situations when issues are mounting over supply”.
Prior to the Tomkins appointment Chris Lau announced that Laser Corporation had hired former Belkin and Cellnet executive Jo Fraser who joined the company as National Business Manager after more than 18 years in the industry, Laser has also promoted from within, with company veteran Ron Hilario being promoted to General Manager of Sales.
Other new hires included former Crest Company executive Liam O’Reilly, who now lead Laser Corporations China sourcing office and is believed to be trying to hire other former Crest Company staff in China.
Neither The Crest Company or Laser Corporation have commented for this story.