Compustore closes down Dublin, Galway stores

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1 April 2005 | 0

The news of the recent closure of the Irish PC retailer Compustore has been greeted with some sadness by the Irish IT trade, but has also been seen as a reflection of changing times in the retail business.

The company, which ceased trading on the weekend of 23rd October, had been one of the more permanent fixtures in the Irish IT retail market since the early nineties and remained one of the few Irish-owned computer and electronics retailing chains operating in this country.

However, while the four company stores in Sandyford, St Stephen’s Green and Tallaght in Dublin and an outlet in Galway have been confirmed shut, some of the regional branches around the country are franchise operations and are less likely to be affected by
the closure. Several Compustore franchisees told national media that the closure would not affect them.

Up to 60-70 staff employed at the affected stores are expected to be made redundant.Compustore was the first Irish company to go down the PC superstore route of opening a chain of high-street PC stores. It carried products from many of the leading technology
manufacturers including Hewlett-Packard, Apple, Fujitsu Siemens, Toshiba, Epson, Microsoft and Packard Bell.

However, as several trade sources confirmed to Channels, Compustore came under increased competition from UK operators like PC World, Harvey Norman, Tesco and PowerCity as well as the online sales operations of companies such as Dell.

‘I would say the Compustore story just hadn’t changed enough in the last few years,’ one trade source said. While the Compustore brand was a strong and well recognised one, the entry by Dixons, Harvey Norman and numerous other retailers into the Irish market along with their formidable marketing resources somewhat overshadowed the Irish-owned stores, the source said.

Another source said that consumers today are much better educated and do more research before buying electronic goods such as notebooks, which the source said is something that tends to work against high-street PC shops in general, not just Compustore.
Some of the sources also confirmed that the company had been experiencing trading difficulties for some time. Compustore had disclosed its financial situation with many of its suppliers and had been working to alleviate the problem prior to liquidation. The most
recently filed accounts for Compustore Ltd were for the year ending January 2001, which showed the company had enjoyed a turnover of IR£30m, up 24pc on the previous year.

The company is known to have heavily invested in the opening of its third Dublin store in Tallaght. Compustore is owned by Kevin Buckley (managing director), Dermot Allen, Sean Finnerty and James Finnerty: the latter died in recent months. A creditors’ meeting, organised by the firm’s accountants, LHM, is to take place on the
9th November in Dublin. It is understood a liquidator from Ernst & Young will be proposed at the meeting, which will take place in the Burlington Hotel.

Some of the sources also confirmed that the company had been experiencing trading difficulties for some time. Compustore had disclosed its financial situation with many of its suppliers and had been working to alleviate the problem prior to liquidation. The most
recently filed accounts for Compustore Ltd were for the year ending January 2001, which showed the company had enjoyed a turnover of IR£30m, up 24pc on the previous year.

The company is known to have heavily invested in the opening of its third Dublin store in Tallaght.

06/12/04

 

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