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.”