Superstore outfit Office World is evaluating whether to continue to to rethink its computer policy. sell PCs, following the termination of its deal with Byte after the chain was sold to Dixons Group last week.
Specialist Computer Holdings (SCH) pulled out of the retail business and sold its superstore chain Byte - which consisted of 16 stores - for about #50,000 to Dixons. But the sale has scuppered the deal between Byte and Office World, where the retailer ran in-store concessions in 40 of Office World's stores. Dixons confirmed this operation is being phased out (PC Dealer, 8 April).
The termination of in-store concessions with Byte comes at the same time Office World lost its founder Simon Fox, who will move to arch rival Comet next month. Fox set up one of the earliest concepts of superstore buying when he established Office World in 1990.
The superstore, which has over 60 stores throughout the UK, has concentrated on selling office equipment and furniture. It began selling PCs last year.
Barbara Miers, marketing director at Office World, confirmed the company was looking at whether to continue selling PCs. 'We have always recognised PCs as a specialist expertise. We are considering what to do,' she said.
Miers was confident the company would continue to sell PCs, as this was the differentiator between itself and main rival, Staples.
She said the decision would be put on hold while the replacement MD settled into his role. Eric Bourn, who is replacing Fox, will join on 1 May, moving from Office World's Swiss parent company, Migros.
A representative at Comet confirmed Fox would join the retailer as finance and systems director.
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