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Time closes shops, says it'll open more

Tries to hide further store shrinkage

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Updated Time Computers is announcing 10 new store openings to fill the holes left when it shut 22 branches in March - this will give it 160 outlets by the end of the year.

But it isn't announcing that is shutting eight TimeTalk mobile shops this week. It says it is merging Time Computers branches with TimeTalk stores, if they're in the same area, because customers want a one-stop-shop.

And no doubt Time wants to cut its shop rental bill.

Next time Time announces it is opening more stores, it will be interesting to find out if this means there will actually be more branches trading than there were before the announcement.

Time Computers opened a branch in Jersey at the end of March. Shops in Bury and Romford will open later this month. Then by October another eight stores will be trading in Harlow, Harrow, St. Helen's, Stafford, Burton, Walsall, Newbury and Nuneaton.

Time is really showing its commitment to Harlow. It used to run a concession in the town, then it converted an old carpet shop into a store, ran it for a few months, and then closed it in the March cull. It is going to re-open as another concession within another retailer (who's identity is being kept top secret) before October.

The company is also unimpressed with the Office of Fair Trading ruling that Dixons Stores Group doesn't dominate the UK market in home PCs. The OFT deputy director general, Penny Boys, said on Friday that "Dixons share of this market is considerably below the 40 per cent threshold we would normally regard as an indicator of dominance".

Time thinks Dixons has 40 per cent of the market. And it also knows an opportunity to kick the market leader when it sees it.

Colin Silcock, Time's director of sales, said: "In the UK, PC World [one of Dixons' businesses] dominates this market and everyone in the industry knows this, despite the findings of the Office of Fair Trading. Even consumers are aware of this and are looking for an alternative to PC World".

"At present, only Time are able to offer this alternative because over the last six months we have merged our PCs, peripherals, consumables, accessories and mobile phone products into a single Time outlet. And, due to our lower overhead structure we can be more competitive than PC World."

Interestingly Time's Jersey branch has enjoyed sales 400 per cent above expectations since it opened at the end of March. Dixons doesn't have a store there. ®

Jersey factoids


  • The speed limit is 40mph with 30mph in town, 20mph in certain areas (schools etc) and 15mph on 'green lanes', country roads where bikes, horses and pedestrians take priority
  • Portuguese workers account for 10 per cent of the population. They were originally there picking potatoes and working in the tourist industry, but now fill in all sorts of roles
  • We remember an episode of the Jersey based TV detective series Bergerac, where a computer dealer turned to murder and arson because he couldn't make a go of business on the island. The market for IT might have changed by now.


Thanks to Brian Coombs for the info. He says Jersey now has a strong IT and ecommerce industry.

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Time shuts 22 shops
Dixons doesn't dominate UK PC market

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