Despite the growth in Apple's retail channel this year, operating an AppleCentre is not a licence to print money, as events of the last week have shown. Two stores have closed their doors, with the operator going into receivership.
The AppleCentres, in Darwin and Alice Springs, were operated by ComputerPlus, which traded in personal computer equipment as well as Apple product. The appointed receivers are Geoff Finch and Scott Kershaw of KPMG chartered accountants and the major trade creditors are Apple Australia and IBM Australia. According to Finch, the receivers are still in the process of realising the debtors. It is believed trade creditors at the time receivers were appointed totalled $1.4 million.
Managing director of ComputerPlus Peter Kent, who has 19 years experience in the IT channel, mostly as an Apple reseller, said he was forced to appoint an administrator early last month after a downturn in business.
The decision to close the doors on the two outlets and appoint the receivers was made three weeks later.
Apple has already appointed replacement AppleCentre operators in both locations, although in different premises. AppleCentre Darwin will be operated by iTech Group and Alice Springs by Town & Country Office Products. A spokesperson for Apple Australia affirmed its commitment to AppleCentres in both locations.