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iPad bludgeons to death two UK Apple reseller shops
Brighton, Edinburgh Cancom stores axed, staff given notice
Trams Group management confirmed it has entered a 30-day consultation with former Cancom UK staff over the closure of several retail outlets.
As revealed by Channel Register last week, Trams swallowed the UK arm of Apple Premium Reseller (APR) Cancom and has wasted no time in seeking ways to return the loss-making operation to profit.
Warren Peel, managing director at Trams, confirmed that retail stores in Brighton and Edinburgh have been "temporarily" shuttered and some of the 50 Cancom staff "entered into a consultation period as we determine what to do".
"You only have to look at the economy to see that retail is struggling," he told The Reg. "Apple has a strong presence in most major towns and cities and most people gravitate to those rather than third-party stores."
"The management is looking at the overall cost overheads of the business; at the end of the day we are trying to return the business to profitability across all the different sectors," he added.
The London-based Kensington store remains open for business, Peel confirmed.
Cancom UK, which was owned by German parent Cancom, posted losses of £326,000 in calendar 2010 compared to profits of £94,000 during the previous year.
In a directors' report accompanying the 2010 numbers, the firm said it planned to concentrate on services and maintenance as margins on traditional kit sales were under pressure, a strategy its parent apparently supported.
The rationale behind the acquisition was to bolster Trams' B2B arm as the iPad continues to "cut across" different market sectors, said Peel.
"Apple is growing well in B2B, we've got a lot of interest from traditional Apple customers and other market sectors including legal, finance and manufacturing where historically Apple didn't get a sniff," he said.
Cancom AG did not respond to calls or emails. ®