Darren Falkner, Managing Director at Falcon Computers, reveals how the business began, its plans for the future, and how the store helps gamers build the perfect PC...
How and when did Falcon Computers begin?
I started out Building PCs as a hobby for friends and family at home in 1994. after generating huge interest in gaming computers I quickly realised that it was my passion and what I wanted to do with my life, so I took the bold decision to make a go of it and quit my much-loved job as a Printer in Sunderland as it was getting too much building PCs every evening and working all day then also working weekends.
Falcon Computers was started in 1995 again from my home in Sunderland, the growth rate was incredible and turned over in excess of £800,000 in sales the first year with the help of advertising and local computer fairs, as well as a lot of hard work and taking on a full-time staff member and three part-time workers for the computer fairs.
Have has the business changed over the years?
In the second year of business I took on three more full-time members of staff, a handful of part time staff for the computer fairs, and opened my first store – this was an 2,300 square foot industrial unit with large warehouse and a small retail/trade counter. Again business grew and grew and turnover grew to over 2 million a year. I then opened two more stores but found this hard to man manage so took the decision to close them all and open one large retail store on a local retail park in 2008 with over 5,300 Square foot of retail and warehousing space.
What are your top selling products?
Falcon sells over 3,000 products ranging from £1 cables and inks to £6,000 Gaming PCs and everything in between. Our best-selling products are computer hardware (graphics cards, mainboard, memory, CPU, PC cases, peripherals and monitors) from our brand partners such as Gigabyte, ASUS, AOC, ADATA, Kingston, Thermaltake, AMD, Coolermaster, Intel and of course our very own Falcon Custom Gaming PCs. We also sell over 50,000 ink cartridges a year.
How does Falcon’s customer experience different from your average retailer?
Falcon offers a friendly, helpful experience especially with gaming PC sales. We simply ask the customer what games they want to play and at what levels of detail (1080p High or 4K for example) and then we help design the most suitable custom PC to their given budget on our Bespoke System Builder app.
We also run major gaming tournaments with the help of our brand partners who help sponsor the events. This has proven to have been a huge success with both the manufacturers and our customers and are now planning our 5th gaming event for the first week in October with some new sponsors wanting to showcase their products in our store.
Are there any exciting plans in the pipeline?
Falcon is looking to expand its custom PC sales and move into other sales channels starting with Amazon. Then once we are happy our structures and procedures can cope with demand, we will look into putting our Falcon brand in other e-tail stores and retail outlets.
Tel: 0191 5676669
Address: Falcon Computers
190-206 Roker Avenue,
Sunderland, SR6 0BN
Open 6 days a week Monday to Saturday from 9am.