Apple re-seller plans to take on bigger store

This Is Wiltshire: Tom Bell and manager Ali Hoff Tom Bell and manager Ali Hoff

THE growing popularity of iPads has forced a computer shop in The Brunel Centre to relocate.

Western Computer, a premium Apple re-seller, opened in the arcade in 2007 but is set to close on Saturday because it needs a larger store to provide more display space for iPads. As a result, it intends to relocate to Cirencester.

Bosses at the store, which currently has room to showcase four of the mini computers, said they had looked for other units in Swindon but they were either too big or too small, so they went for the Cirencester unit, which has space to display at least eight of the terminals.

The three full-time staff will move directly across.

Western Computer has units across the UK, including in Bristol, Oxford, Leamington Spa, Cheltenham and Preston.

Ali Hoff, the Swindon store manager, said: “We looked in Swindon for ages for a new unit. All the units in this centre were too small.

“The only other thing that was available was one of the units near Top Man and Top Shop, the huge glass-fronted units, but they were too big.

“There were literally no units of the right size and we wanted to get it done before Christmas. So something came up and it was a good idea. We thought, why not?”

Ali said about 90 per cent of the customers they asked said they would visit the Cirencester shop, so there was little risk of losing custom. He said posters about the relocation would go up in the shop window soon and some customers had also been informed by email.

He said: “We tell everybody now because we don’t want people turning up when we aren’t here. Nine out of 10 people are saying they go to Cirencester on a monthly basis anyway for either their shopping or to visit friends and family and so on. It’s very rare that people have said they don’t go there already.

“Obviously you can get an iPad from anywhere but not the experience of coming into this shop. I think it’s probably the best place to come and get one in the town, so I think people will travel.

“The customer service we offer here is completely different from going into another High Street shop and I think people honestly will travel to Cirencester to get that sort of experience.

“The new store is very much like the actual Apple stores as well. We’re what’s called a premium re-seller but the new stores look very much like the official Apple stores now, so all the furniture looks pretty much the same.”

Comments (18)

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9:37am Fri 16 Nov 12

Guv says...

Sorry, I don't believe with all of the empty shops you couldn't stay in Swindon. I won't be travelling to Cirencester, I would rather go a little further to Bath and deal direct.

Shame, I have purchased so many items from you, yes the support is good, but you are letting down your customers moving out of town.
Sorry, I don't believe with all of the empty shops you couldn't stay in Swindon. I won't be travelling to Cirencester, I would rather go a little further to Bath and deal direct. Shame, I have purchased so many items from you, yes the support is good, but you are letting down your customers moving out of town. Guv
  • Score: 1

9:42am Fri 16 Nov 12

PaulD says...

I'm no Apple fanboy, but this sounds like crap to me
I'm no Apple fanboy, but this sounds like crap to me PaulD
  • Score: 0

9:48am Fri 16 Nov 12

src says...

Would Swindon Residents really go to Cirencester on a shopping trip? If I was making that much effort I would go to Bristol.
Would Swindon Residents really go to Cirencester on a shopping trip? If I was making that much effort I would go to Bristol. src
  • Score: 0

9:51am Fri 16 Nov 12

PaulD says...

you get a better class of sheep in Cirencester
you get a better class of sheep in Cirencester PaulD
  • Score: -1

10:16am Fri 16 Nov 12

pettefar says...

I am a fairly big Apple customer but I won't motor all the way to Cirencester just to visit their shop! Ridiculous. Basically they are leaving. One wonders why?
I am a fairly big Apple customer but I won't motor all the way to Cirencester just to visit their shop! Ridiculous. Basically they are leaving. One wonders why? pettefar
  • Score: 0

11:17am Fri 16 Nov 12

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

I also would find it strange that there is no suitable premises in Swindon town center. Seems like there are other reasons to me.
I also would find it strange that there is no suitable premises in Swindon town center. Seems like there are other reasons to me. LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 0

12:15pm Fri 16 Nov 12

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

Probably something to do with the ridiculous rents charged for premises in the town centre...
Probably something to do with the ridiculous rents charged for premises in the town centre... The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 0

12:18pm Fri 16 Nov 12

dc the 2nd says...

This is great news, we'll have the store in Ciren to go with the other decent shops and you can have another poundland for swindon town centre.
This is great news, we'll have the store in Ciren to go with the other decent shops and you can have another poundland for swindon town centre. dc the 2nd
  • Score: 0

1:23pm Fri 16 Nov 12

Guv says...

Poundland? More like charity shops, we have all of the sodden pound shop there is, still room for a couple of charity shops or christmas shops.
Poundland? More like charity shops, we have all of the sodden pound shop there is, still room for a couple of charity shops or christmas shops. Guv
  • Score: 0

1:49pm Fri 16 Nov 12

Bangtidy says...

WGAF?
WGAF? Bangtidy
  • Score: 0

3:12pm Fri 16 Nov 12

Al Smith says...

src wrote:
Would Swindon Residents really go to Cirencester on a shopping trip? If I was making that much effort I would go to Bristol.
Exactly.

I certainly wouldn't go to Cirencester to buy a computer. Bath, Bristol and Reading all have proper Apple Stores.

Whilst the rent may be cheaper in Cirencester I suspect the number of customers will be smaller.

I wonder what the real reason is (especially if business is that good)?

I'd be very surprised indeed if Apple wanted to open one of their official stores in Swindon, but that could explain the inability to find a empty store unit in Swindon.
[quote][p][bold]src[/bold] wrote: Would Swindon Residents really go to Cirencester on a shopping trip? If I was making that much effort I would go to Bristol.[/p][/quote]Exactly. I certainly wouldn't go to Cirencester to buy a computer. Bath, Bristol and Reading all have proper Apple Stores. Whilst the rent may be cheaper in Cirencester I suspect the number of customers will be smaller. I wonder what the real reason is (especially if business is that good)? I'd be very surprised indeed if Apple wanted to open one of their official stores in Swindon, but that could explain the inability to find a empty store unit in Swindon. Al Smith
  • Score: 0

5:01pm Fri 16 Nov 12

tucker81 says...

More room to display what, one item? Is there even a colour choice? "white ipad" "black ipad" what the flip do you need more room for?
More room to display what, one item? Is there even a colour choice? "white ipad" "black ipad" what the flip do you need more room for? tucker81
  • Score: 0

5:03pm Fri 16 Nov 12

tucker81 says...

And that guy in the photo has the sort of smug face that makes people hate Apple
And that guy in the photo has the sort of smug face that makes people hate Apple tucker81
  • Score: 0

5:42pm Fri 16 Nov 12

semitonic says...

This is a bit like Robbo saying he might be moving to Portsmouth just to get another free plug in the adver - who cares?! just go!

Apple products are obsolete before you get them out of the box anyway and soon they'll have so many patent rights on the products we'll all want from other companies that we'll have to pay an 'Apple tax' to own them. Greedy rotters.
This is a bit like Robbo saying he might be moving to Portsmouth just to get another free plug in the adver - who cares?! just go! Apple products are obsolete before you get them out of the box anyway and soon they'll have so many patent rights on the products we'll all want from other companies that we'll have to pay an 'Apple tax' to own them. Greedy rotters. semitonic
  • Score: 0

7:33am Sat 17 Nov 12

gambon says...

good bye and welcome to another pound shop at least that will sell products people want rather than stupid i pads anything with i in the title is bought by people with no brains
good bye and welcome to another pound shop at least that will sell products people want rather than stupid i pads anything with i in the title is bought by people with no brains gambon
  • Score: 0

9:25am Sat 17 Nov 12

Captain T says...

If you want a top quality tablet, but a Samsung!

But in all seriousness, you can buy all the Apple products at John Lewis at Mannington anyway. I bet thats the reason for leaving. And the staff there are far more pleasant than the guys at Western.
If you want a top quality tablet, but a Samsung! But in all seriousness, you can buy all the Apple products at John Lewis at Mannington anyway. I bet thats the reason for leaving. And the staff there are far more pleasant than the guys at Western. Captain T
  • Score: 0

9:55am Sat 17 Nov 12

dc the 2nd says...

I reckon they looked around the town centre, saw the types of people trudging around and made the decision to take the shop somewhere located in the 21st century.
I reckon they looked around the town centre, saw the types of people trudging around and made the decision to take the shop somewhere located in the 21st century. dc the 2nd
  • Score: 0

1:31pm Sat 17 Nov 12

batch says...

I love Ciren, but it ain't exactly more 21st Century than Swindon is DC!

Hasn't even got a Cinema any more, Swindon will soon have 3 :)
I love Ciren, but it ain't exactly more 21st Century than Swindon is DC! Hasn't even got a Cinema any more, Swindon will soon have 3 :) batch
  • Score: 0

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