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Apple blamed for forced reseller disposal

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London Apple reseller CJ Graphics is blaming its chief supplier Apple for the “forced disposal” of the company to rival dealership Rapid Group. CJ Graphics owner Floral Street PLC sold the assets of the company for “up to £500,000” on Friday, January 29, after its bank suspended all the company’s financing facilities. AIM-listed Floral Street has ceased trading and is setting insolvency procedures in train."The directors expect there to be a deficiency of net assets". Aziz Punja, chief executive of CJ Graphics, said: “It is perhaps no secret that we experienced a downturn in business during the latter part of 1998. This combined with mounting orders due to Apple’s lack of product and the recent changes imposed by Apple has really forced our hand”. CJ Graphics was at its peak a £12 million t/o company. Steve Rush, Rapid marketing director, said the group is confident of restoring CJ sales to peak levels. CJ Graphics trades out of five outlets – in Brighton, Bournemouth, Birmingham and two branches in London. The company also sells graphics arts materials and office furniture as well as Apple kit. It will run as an autonomous unit of Rapid, according to Rush, who says no redundancies are envisaged. With combined group turnover of £30 million, Rapid is now one of the UK’s biggest Apple resellers. The group has climbed up the league table largely through acquisition -- notching up Thames Valley Systems, AppleCentre Cambridge and Macline -- among others. It currently trades out of Godstone, Surrey, Reading and Cambridge. Apple UK last week announced its intention to tighten accreditation policies for its 130-strong reseller channel. The company has struggled to keep up with UK demand for the iMac, the most popular launch in its history, with many models on allocation throughout Q4 last year.®

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