Apple resellers are rising like a phoenix from the ashes of the failed Buzzle conglomerate as many of the fomer Buzzle stores change their names and reopen their doors for business. However, the players behind their success remain remarkably familiar.
The personalities behind the new Apple dealer operations are often the same individuals behind the companies involved in Buzzle. Former GM Computers managing director George Mekrizis is set to carry on the legacy in his new company Tyche Digital while the lynchpins of the now-defunct StatusGraph have permanently moved into the Apple Centre, Taylor Square.
Tyche Digital now encompasses five stores around Sydney - including two in the central business district, one in Neutral Bay and the former StatusGraph store at Broadway. Mekrizis, now managing director of Tyche, says the business will focus on digital media centres, emphasising service and support in digital video and publishing.
"Our long term goal is to have modern, compelling retail shopping focusing on digital lifestyle products," he said. "Items such as digital video recorders, cameras and MP3 players all work well with Macs and it is where we see the market growth."
Describing the move away from the Buzzle group as "a breath of fresh air", Mekriszis said he will consolidate the two city stores into one centre and is planning a complete refurbishment of the Broadway centre.
"Business is a lot better than working within the constraints of Buzzle," he said.
Meanwhile, the Status Graph team, former managing director Lindsay McComb along with Shannon Daniel and Ben Morgan have successfully joined forces at the Apple Centre in Taylor Square.
"We have doubled the [sales] targets put to us by Apple," said sales director Shannon Daniel. "We are also have the highest Flexirent figures in the State. It's a dynamic turnaround in a small timeframe."
The Buzzle collapse and its aftermath is still foremost in the minds of both businesses. Mekrizis feels Buzzle was let down by the financial systems put in place within the company.
"We had a lot of concerns that the financial systems weren't providing the visibility were we expected so issues were occuring that we couldn't actually see. It [Buzzle] should have been the most successful IT venture inn Australia."
With most of the assets of the failed Buzzle group now sold, business in the Apple channel is reasonably solid, according to Apple corporate affairs manager, Myrna van Pelt.
"The channel is travelling well," she told ARN. "Sales have been strong and resellers have stayed focused."