What­ever hap­pened to…?

Computer Shopper - - LETTERS -

While hav­ing a long-needed clearout at home, I stum­bled upon some re­ally old ar­ti­cles and equip­ment re­views from Shop­per from 2003 and ear­lier. What struck me was the turnover – per­haps ‘cull’ might be a better word – of PC man­u­fac­tur­ers that seemed ubiq­ui­tous at that time.

Names such as Time Com­put­ers, Wat­ford Elec­tron­ics, Eve­sham.com, NetHighStreet. com and HiGrade, to name just a few from that era, which all seem to have sunk with­out trace de­spite taking out sev­eral pages of ad­ver­tise­ments in yours, and other, mag­a­zines.

It could well be that they’re still around, just with a dif­fer­ent busi­ness pro­file. Af­ter all, my first com­puter was a Viglen, which I know is still in ex­is­tence but doesn’t, as far as I know, sell com­put­ers to the gen­eral pub­lic any more.

So what went so wrong for these com­pa­nies? Did they just over­stretch and be­come too big for their boots, and are there lessons to be learned for the cur­rent com­pa­nies who fea­ture heav­ily in your re­view sec­tions?

Two com­pa­nies fairly lo­cal to me who were around at that time, Scan Com­put­ers and Dabs.com, still seem to be thriv­ing, the lat­ter now owned by BT. What did these two do dif­fer­ently so as not to fol­low the same tra­jec­tory as those who dis­ap­peared? Richard Na­j­duch

We haven’t tracked the rise and fall of the PC man­u­fac­tur­ers in huge financial detail, but we imag­ine that good cus­tomer ser­vice and be­ing quick to start sell­ing online were two fac­tors. We’ll look into this sub­ject for a fu­ture ar­ti­cle for Shop­per.

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