Light Edge Technology's line of Emerald PCs will be sold online through e-tailer kalahari.net. The offering went live late last week and is an extension of the offering the two companies have had for the past two months selling other Light Edge products such as MP3 players and various PC components, including motherboards and printers.

   Kalahari.net has attempted to sell PCs in the past, but says it has struggled to get some suppliers to adhere to the service levels that are needed when selling online.

  "We have tried it in the past and learnt from what went wrong," says Gary Hadfield, kalahari.net's commercial manager. "With Light Edge, we believe we have found a supplier who will stick to the SLAs [service level agreements]."

  David Musikanth, Light Edge Technology's marketing director, says his company traditionally only serviced the enterprise market through its dealer network but the growing demand for the brand meant more outlets needed to be found.

  "Our growing brand recognition at enterprise level - especially since the introduction of our Emerald range of PCs three years ago - has, however, helped drive consumer demand as office workers started buying Light Edge products for private use. At first we simply serviced such consumers via our existing five national offices but we've increasingly become aware of the need for a more elegant retail solution," he says.

  Musikanth says an online offering seemed ideal as his customers are typically Internet-enabled. "Kalahari.net was a natural choice, given their proven track record of e-tail success and consumer base of more than 180 000 customers. The new store currently stocks the majority of Light Edge's product lines," he says.Musikanth says revenue doubled during the two-month limited offering, indicating that South African PC owners are more that happy to buy their components online.

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