New indie retail collective – the Approved PC Retail Network – has responded to comments made yesterday by Synaxon’s Derek Jones.
Dan Dollin of Bude Computers Ltd originally launched the collective and its Facebook group around a year ago, and acquired a domain.
Jones applauded the new collective, but said he has never seen a ‘not for profit’ dealer-run organisation succeed.
"I think it’s brilliant what they’re doing," he said. "I’ll always endorse and encourage dealer communities, but to try and take it into a serious commercial organsiation, there’s no chance without serious funding. They will need huge advertising and infrastructure."
In a statement sent to PCR, the Approved PC Retail Network responded: "The PCRN idea was borne out of a lack of support for indie shops. The big guys get lots of support from distributors and manufacturers. One independent shop only has one voice, over the last year we have morphed into a much larger entity with a much louder voice.
"We have succeeded in smashing our first stage goal which was to have 50 paying members within the first month – we actually had paying 50 members in the first week with a decent spread across the whole of the UK. We have more than 150 members in our Facebook group and we’ll try to get as many of them onto the site as possible, we’d be happy if half of them joined up as fully paying members.
"Because this is very much a collaborative scheme our workload is shared, we don’t have a large wages bill and our work is very fluid spread across the members. It is in every member’s interest that the group succeeds – we’re all UK-based, we understand how the UK PC retail and repair market works better than anyone as we are the market."
The statement went on: "Being small business owners, we are all well aware that you only get out what you put in, we’ve all been battered by the economy but have weathered the storm. This should show the strength of character of our members as well as their determination to succeed.
"For most of our members, running a computer shop wasn’t their first business – we have an incredibly large range of skills in our pool of expertise to draw from. We give our knowledge and expertise freely for the benefit of the group.
"PC repair and retail is a constantly evolving market, what didn’t work 10 years ago has the ability to work now, with the right people and passion behind it.
"And we firmly believe we have the right people and plenty of passion."