Menzies targets high street for multimedia CD-Rom sales

A new Anglo-German joint venture, Funsoft UK, is aiming to take 20 per cent of the UK wholesale market for multimedia products by the end of 1995, its backers said.

The company was formed earlier this year by Funsoft of Germany, a multimedia publisher and distributor, and Britain's Total Home Entertainment, which is part of the John Menzies retailing group.

Funsoft UK supplies retailers with a range of CD-Rom products, including games and educational titles.

Together, the two Funsoft companies will address up to 65 per cent of the European market. And Alan Taylor, Funsoft UK's managing director, said the company intends to close a deal within a few weeks in France to bring in another distributor. The company is also aiming to provide pan-European licensing arrangements for software publishers, relying on Funsoft's German experience as a licensee for major software labels such as Time Warner, Lucas Arts and Novalogic.

"The market is not exploding yet, but it will," Mr Taylor said.

The CD-Rom market is still in its infancy in the UK. But independent analysts suggest it could grow exponentially over the course of the coming year. There were 500,000 CD-Rom players in UK households at the end of 1994; this is expected to rise to as many as 3m by the end of 1995.

There are an additional 2m CD-Rom drives in continental European homes.

Despite rosy prospects for hardware sales, some retailers are still wary. The game cartridge market, where demand plummeted in late 1994, left many retailers with excess stock.

Japanese manufacturers such as Nintendo and Sega announced they would soon be launching new consoles using more advanced software, leading customers to hold off making purchases of existing technology and titles. Sega and Sony have already launched CD-based game machines in Japan, and will bring them to the UK in September. Nintendo is launching a 64-bit cartridge- based console by the end of the year.

"We have to do some educating among retailers who were hurt by the game cartridge problems," Mr Taylor said.

Distributors such as Funsoft supply both specialist and general retail outlets, in what is still a very fragmented market. The specialist game shops such as Future Zone (owned by the ailing Rhino retail company) compete with electronics shops such as Dixons and music stores such as Virgin and HMV.

Funsoft has been working with retailers to help them develop multimedia selling techniques. These include providing special displays and demonstration PCs with CD-Rom drives to allow customers to try out multimedia titles.

Taking in games, educational CD-Roms, and children's interactive titles, the market for PC-based CD-Rom software is expected to be worth as much as £280m in 1995, rising to as much as £1.57bn by 2000.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy