Iain Canning tells PCR how the PlayStation 3’s ‘yellow light of death’ has boosted his business and why he has painted the front of his store to look like the Union Jack flag.
How and when did the company begin?
In 1998 I set up the business from home. Back then I focused mainly on PC builds and repairs.
What products and services do you offer?
I still do custom builds now but I don’t really keep stock anymore. Because of next day delivery and price fluctuations I do custom builds as and when customers ask for them.
I’m going down the services route a lot more now. I still service and repair laptops but I’m also doing console repairs now.
A lot of customers were coming in with PlayStation 3s with the ‘yellow light of death’ as they call it, so I decided to invest in a machine that fixes them. I would say I’ve fixed around 2,000 to 3,000 over the past two years.
Mobile phone repairs and phone unlocking is also a big part of the business now. Everything is done on site and the store is set out so that people can see their products being fixed right in front of them.
What’s been your best selling product or service over the past year?
It’s definitely been mobile phone repairs. I started off as a computer repair shop, but now I’m getting more work repairing mobile devices. I’ve noticed a lot of the phone shops are starting to do repairs on laptops and PCs too.
Is social media important to your business?
Although we have a mobile web page, we focus more on word of mouth rather than social media.
Do you use any third-party marketplaces?
No. We’re more about repairing products than selling them these days.
What do you have to do to survive on the High Street?
You’ve got to diversify. If I had carried on just repairing PCs and laptops like I did in the beginning I would have gone out of business a long time ago and be sat at home now watching Jeremy Kyle.
The rent on the High Street is what kills a lot of people’s businesses. That, combined with competition from online companies.
Although people can buy products online, when they are delivered some realise that the product is not exactly what they wanted and they return it. That’s why many consumers still like to visit a physical store. They can touch the products before they buy and get advice on what’s best for them.
So how do you stand out from other stores?
I painted the front of the shop in Union Jack colours. It’s situated in a little arcade of shops so it really stands out. Once customers know it’s there they can’t forget.
What are you plans for the year ahead?
There’s always room to expand. The shop is getting quite crowded.
I’ll continue to look out for the next trend and follow it. At the moment it’s mobile phone repairs, so that’s where we’ll continue to expand until the next bit thing comes along.
What’s the best thing about what you do?
Getting people’s information back. If someone’s phone breaks, it’s like they’ve lost their life. When you manage to get someone’s data back it’s great to see the smile on their face.
Year established: 1998
Number of outlets: One
Number of staff: One
16 Malcolm Arcade,
Telephone: 0116 2516503