Brisbane reseller Concorde Computer has entered voluntary administration with a rumoured $1.6 million in debts after a poor October-November period was the last straw in several years of dwindling returns.
Quentin Stoodly, director and one of three who founded Concorde Computer in 1991, said sales in the last two months had failed to lift, striking a potential death knell for the reseller after a tough couple of years.
“I would say it’s happened fairly quickly. September-October would normally be a downturn for us anyway,” he said. “But in October-November, it didn’t pick up.”
He said that Concorde Computer had been forced to concede significant financial difficulties, entering voluntary administration 29 November.
The Brisbane office of accountancy Horwath Jefferson Stevenson has been employed to administer the firm, which is rumoured to have totted up some $1.6 million in debts. “I can’t confirm that [figure],” Stoodly said.
The hope was that Horwath Jefferson Stevenson would find a buyer for Concorde to inject cash into the operation, he added.
Horwath Jefferson Stevenson was unavailable to comment at the time of writing.
Concorde Computer – nominated by its customers for the reseller of the year prize at AJB’s IT&T Awards this year – had three Brisbane stores – in Mt Gravatt, Newstead and Strathpine – and a total 35 staff, Stoodly said.
Just last month, Concorde Computer hit the news with a bold move into the digital home space, opening Brisbane’s first demonstration rooms showcasing convergent home entertainment technologies and Microsoft’s feted Media Center Edition OS at its Newstead store.
The showcase, dubbed My Digital Life, had a living room, romper room or study and home office areas displaying digital home products from vendors such as HP and Microsoft.
However, Concorde Computer’s troubles could not be blamed on any one event, Stoodly suggested. OEM sales had also been poor.
“Microsoft even rang us, saying that ‘Windows isn’t selling through the OEM channel any more [so] what’s the go?’,” he said.
Customers no longer seemed to see computers as specialised equipment requiring specialised assistance, Stoodly said.
“People aren’t buying PCs in Brisbane generally at the moment. Wholesalers and resellers all say the same,” he said.
Meanwhile, some vendors marketed themselves direct and so aggressively – sometimes offering as much as $1000 cash back on PC purchases – that resellers were finding their businesses increasingly hamstrung, he said.