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
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
News
Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
people
Sport
Ross Barkley
footballPaul Scholes says it's time for the Everton playmaker to step up and seize the England No 10 shirt
News
'We will fix it': mice in the 1970s children’s programme Bagpuss
science
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
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

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 per annum + commission: SThree: Sthree have an exciting opportunity for...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £32,000+

£18000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Neil Pavier: Commercial Analyst

£50,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you a professionally qualified commercial ...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?