Bluechip to close Auckland, deliver in Sydney

Bluechip Infotech is to wind up its operations in New Zealand by the end of the month.

The hardware distributor inherited its Auckland office when merging with BBF back in July 2003. But Bluechip managing director, Johnson Hsiung, said he had now decided to close it down because the business had been unable to turn a profit.

"We have never really focused on New Zealand but we gave it a try for a year and it hasn't worked out," he said. "I told the staff a year ago that they had until Q1 of this year so it hasn't come as a surprise to anyone."

Bluechip only employs five people in New Zealand and two of those had already found new jobs, Hsiung said. With Synnex due to open a New Zealand office this month, and Todaytech hatching similar plans, Hsiung said he had been in touch with the managing directors of both companies to find new jobs for his outgoing staff.

Despite having contracts with leading vendors Sony and Kodak, the main problem for Bluechip in New Zealand was the absence of major partners like Acer, BenQ and LG.

Hsiung said Acer had made inquiries about extending their existing relationship into New Zealand following Ingram Micro's acquisition of Tech Pacific. But he had turned down the opportunity because he didn't feel able to meet its expectations from such a small operation.

In other news, Hsiung said Bluechip launched a local delivery service on April 4 for resellers in Sydney.

Similar to a scheme already operated by Synnex, Hsiung said he would consider putting vans on the road in other cities if it proved to be successful. n