In its continuing efforts to reach a new demographic and make handheld computing accessible to the broadest possible range of consumers, Handspring, Inc. (Nasdaq:HAND) has entered into a distribution agreement with Target Stores, the leading upscale discount retailer. In time for the busy Holiday buying season, Target will begin selling Visor handheld computers, accessories, and Springboard expansion modules nationwide, effectively adding 900 storefronts in the United States where people can purchase Handspring's popular line of products.
Data from Dataquest/Gartner Group of San Jose, California indicates that handheld computer shipments in the U.S. will reach 28 million by 2004, representing 300 percent growth in the category over the next four years. Handspring's aggressive strategy to partner with a widely recognized retail brand in the U.S. is intended to enable this growth in areas that have been typically slower to adopt new technology products. The plan is geared to appeal to a new demographic of customers not reached through other distribution channels.
Ed Colligan, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Handspring, said, "The industry is on the cusp of a sizeable breakthrough in terms of volume as more people realize the benefits of handheld computing. To reach the next level of consumers we need first-rate mass merchandisers like Target to help build awareness and fuel adoption. Handspring is fortunate to have established a relationship with one of the country's best and most reliable retailers to help ignite this growth."
Steve Eastman, Divisional Merchandise Manager for Target, said, "Target is excited to expand our personal electronics department with the introduction of Handspring products. We believe the Visor offers a great solution to help our busy guests better organize their lives."
Target will begin selling Visor products this month in its Arizona locations, with a national roll out expected later this year.
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