Next Byte quits the PC game

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Independent Apple reseller Next Byte has closed its PC store NBPC in Chapel Street, citing poor walk-in business in the fashionable Melbourne shopping street.

Independent Apple reseller Next Byte has closed its PC store NBPC in Chapel Street, citing poor walk-in business in the fashionable Melbourne shopping street.

Adam Steinhardt, managing director at Next Byte, told CRN the Apple-focused reseller chain had decided to end its first dedicated retail foray into the PC market. Business had not been as good as expected, he suggested. The store had been in operation for 12 months.

'We have shut the shop on Chapel Street, mainly because the area didn't turn out to be really good for us. It was in a fashion street,' Steinhardt said.

He said Chapel Street itself was 'pretty dead'. Pedestrians had passed NBPC by and NBPC had been relying on the location to spark sales. The store had only been making $2000 to $3000 a month.

But Steinhardt refused to concede defeat, arguing that NBPC success would only have been a matter of time.

'PC sales are going well. If we had stayed in there for a period of time, it probably would have got to the stage where it would have been OK,' he said. 'But it was the time we spent trying to ramp up that business.'

He said Next Byte's Apple sales were going so well it didn't make sense to waste energy on NBPC. However, he did not produce any figures.

'We didn't give [NBPC] enough of a go,' Steinhardt said.

He said Next Byte would still offer PCs to its customers through its other outlets and operations, such as its website. 'Specific customers will want them,' he said.

NBPC had stocked PCs from vendors such as HP and Toshiba, alongside a range of peripherals for Apple and rival personal computer brands.

Steinhardt told CRN in 2003 that Next Byte had felt it was missing out by not pushing harder into the PC market. Some 95 percent of the computer market is PC-based. Further, many customers had Macs and PCs and wanted cross-platform expertise.

Steinhardt had banked on offering superior customer service to NBPC customers that would tempt them away from their usual retailers. Next Byte had hired specialised PC staff and initially planned to keep NBPC open seven days a week.

 

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