Apple reseller NextByte has opened a store in Melbourne dedicated to flogging PCs. Yes, that's right - PCs, from competitors including HP and Toshiba.
Adam Steinhardt, MD of NextByte, said the NextByte PC (NBPC) store opened on Monday, 29 September, in South Yarra's Chapel Street. PCs would be 'complementary' to NextByte's existing range and would be stocked alongside a range of peripherals for both platforms, he said.
'From our perspective over the years, we have really done a great job and learnt a lot along the way and we kept looking at the PC market and going 'there's a lot of business that we are really missing. For example, a lot of our customers have both Macs and PCs and cross-platform expertise is more and more required,' Steinhardt said.
NextByte was negotiating to take on another PC vendor who was waiting until sales ramped up before jumping into the fray, he added.
He said Apple desktop computers were still selling well. NextByte within ten days will open another store in Melbourne, on Richmond's Bridge Road. That store would be a standard NextByte Apple centre and bring the total number of outlets to 16, Steinhardt said.
However, the company had come to realise that continual expansion would require looking beyond the Apple brand. Some 95 percent of the desktop market was PC-based and many customers had actually asked NextByte to supply PCs as well, he said.
'A lot of people like our customer service and method of work with our specialised computer consultants,' Steinhardt claimed.
One of the other two directors of the company, Crawford Giles, took a swipe at traditional PC retailers, saying NBPC would differ.
'Customers will get the opportunity to discuss their real requirements with expert computer staff and not have just another supermarket-style experience which is almost becoming the norm these days,' Giles said.
Steinhardt said he had hired three extra PC specialists to work in the store, which would have four to five staff to begin with and open seven days.
'The success in the Mac market is from making sure we've got people who know what they're talking about. We could have thrown a few Mac people into it and said 'it's not that hard' but it might be,' he said.
Steinhardt - a former elite athlete mainly known in reseller circles for his Apple evangelism - raised eyebrows this year by pushing NextByte into the ERP market and for his rapid-expansion of NextByte store numbers. NextByte itself has been voted Apple Reseller of the Year by Apple Australia for two consecutive years.
'Plenty of their resellers are dual-platform and have been for a number of years, such as Microbits,' Steinhardt said.
The reseller started its push into the ERP space five months ago, opening a NextByte Enterprise Technologies warehouse at Lane Cove in Sydney. NextByte opened its first store in 1995, in Adelaide.