Compaq confirms retail expansion on hold

Compaq confirms retail expansion on hold

Compaq yesterday confirmed that potential plans for opening over 100 Compaq Connect stores around the country over the next year have been put on hold.

According to a Compaq spokesperson, "There will be no announcements of new stores until we have the pilot stores bedded down and make sure we are meeting the needs of the customer segment we are targeting."

Compaq claimed this was consistent with previous statements, including general manager, business and consumer, Greg Healy's comments on opening the stores about the expansion of the concept across the country, which would only occur if the pilot stores proved successful.

The spokesperson said Compaq would consider the stores a "failure" if customers from its more traditional channel were to frequent the stores instead of potential new customers, presumably consisting mainly of experienced PC users and SOHOs, being attracted.

The current eight pilot stores in Melbourne and Brisbane will continue to exist and, if successful, Compaq will "look at options, one of which is franchising the stores", said a Compaq spokesperson.

However, the spokesperson said it would be difficult to measure the program's success, as it is not be based on simple monetary or market share criteria. Instead, it would be determined by opening up new markets to Compaq whilst maintaining focus on traditional segments and partners.

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