Independents shut up shop

As times become increasingly tough in the PC retail market, two independent dealer chains have closed.

Rodent SA shut up shop last month after being unable to pay its bills. The company traded as Cherry Computers. With stores in Adelaide and Malvern, its primary business was selling PCs and accessories. The Malvern store manager, who would not disclose his full name, said it had experienced cash flow problems.

Local and national distributors are still owed money. Rodent is establishing arrangements to pay back debts. The store manager claimed the total amount was under $100,000.

Rodent is one of several parties in SA operating as Cherry Computers. Cherry Computers Brighton store owner, Michael Coulter, said he would continue to trade but was considering changing its name. He claimed not to have any affiliation with Rodent.

The death knell has also sounded for Queensland-based PC clearance house, PC Surplus, which went into liquidation last month. The company was launched in 2003 by former PCAuction founder, Aaron Blackman.

PC Surplus resold used, discontinued, ex-demonstration and factory refurbished PCs and accessories to home and users. Listed brands included HP/Compaq, Toshiba, NEC, Dell and Acer.

Two of its four stores were closed in April because of poor trading. The remaining two were sold. Administrators were appointed on May 22. The company owed about $350,000 to unsecured creditors.

According to a report from joint administrator and liquidator, Armstrong Wily Chartered Accountants, PC Surplus lacked working capital, failed to account for all costs and was unable to reap sufficient sales to cover costs.

A creditors' meeting will be held on November 9 to discuss and approve the liquidation report.