Software Warehouse chairman Steve Bennett has unveiled the retailer's plans as it takes a second stab at selling PCs and expands its high street and e-commerce capabilities.
Software Warehouse, which recently gained the top spot in The Independent's listing of the UK's fastest growing companies, laid out its stall for the future. Bennett said the retailer has revamped its PC operation, Northwood, after a disastrous foray into the market.
He said: 'We screwed up last year on the marketing and manufacturing.
We went with features, not performance. It was appalling. I did everything I could to screw it up. We aimed to sell 2,000 PCs by Christmas. We sold 600.'
Bennett claimed the retailer had isolated other problems: 'Parceline was fine for delivering software, but we found there was a 900mm drop from a conveyer belt. That is not good for a monitor. Our DOA figures were horrific.'
Bennett said the company had overcome such problems by taking over delivery and installation and appointing a production operations manager, Tim Lightfoot.
Software Warehouse will also continue expanding its download shop, where 70 software products can be purchased and downloaded over the internet.
This will be accompanied by a corporate download shop geared towards business and satellite downloads.
The movement of mail-order companies to the retail market is a growing trend that Bennett wants to pursue. He said: 'Last year I was naive, aiming at opening 20 stores. We managed to open eight in the last six months of 1997, and that was enough of a task. We've now got 15. We were looking at taking over the concessions in Debenhams, but I've been put off that idea.'
Infrastructure provider says international sales now make up 51 per cent of its revenue
Suzanne Chappell of TMS plans sailing venture after selling Oxfordshire-based TMS to acquisitive Chess
Withdrawal of credit insurance by some providers a 'reflection' of current challenge facing IT sector, according to MD Steve Soper
SMART's UK managing director joins Lenovo to boost SMB business