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Software Warehouse's old retail chain shuts doors

30 stores and 150 staff affected

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One Stop Computer Solutions, formerly Software Warehouse's retail business, has fallen into administrative receivership four months after Jungle.com boss Steve Bennett offloaded the business.

All 30 shops at the Midlands-based business are currently closed, and more than 150 staff are believed to be affected. Martin Hall and Vincent Sweeney at Price Waterhouse Coopers were yesterday appointed administrators.

The company was previously part of Steve Bennett's Software Warehouse empire, and was started in 1992. He sold the chain of shops via an MBO on 1 April to a group of six Software Warehouse directors and district managers. They paid a total of £1 plus the stock value for the business and changed the name to One Stop Computer Solutions.

As part of the deal, Jungle bought the mail order and logistics side of Software Warehouse, while Bennett put his efforts into e-tail venture jungle.com.

Although One Stop is unconnected with Bennett, he said today he would honour warranties on goods bought before 1 April. One Stop chiefs were unavailable for comment.

Bennett put One Stop's failure down to growth in online shopping. "Unfortunately for the stores, the summer has seen a slow down in retail sales as many purchasers have migrated their shopping online," he said.

In unconnected news Jungle has laid off around 20 staff. The redundancies at its warehouse in Coleshill, Warwickshire on Friday - including 20 full-time employees - was put down to automation and re-organisation at the warehouse.

According to Bennett, the redundancies follow moves to make the company more efficient - it has visited rivals such as Dabs.com and been taking advice from Logica on how to improve the business. They add to the other 20 staff culled in June at Jungle.

Bennett said the company, which has recently built a £1 million 30,000sq ft extension to the warehouse, will be profitable by the end of this year. ®

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