Feature

WStore claims profits are in sight

E-tailer WStore claims it will turn in a profit by the end of this year after bolstering its presence in the corporate market by signing up services specialists such as ENG.

The company, which was set up by a number of ex-CHS staff and has been trading since October 1999, claims to have been unaffected by the kinds of problems hitting competitors such as Action Computer Supplies, Dabs.com and Buy.com.

WStore managing director Tony Price told MicroScope the company produced a turnover during the first year of trading to January 2000 of “over £5m” and pre-tax losses of £500,000.

But he was confident the business would be profitable by the end of this year.

“We’ll do around £18m and make a profit without a shadow of a doubt. Things have been good in February and we’re on target in terms of our business plan,” he said.

Price argued the company was not affected by the kinds of problems hitting traditional resellers and larger on-line competitors because it did not have the same overheads or operating costs.

But he admitted the margins on hardware and software were low and said the company had to add value in terms of increasing services sales.

He said it was now adding value through link-ups with 27 services firms which would give WStore a percentage of any services work completed.

David Atherton, managing director of rival e-tail group Dabs.com, said WStore was a “good competitor” but doubted there would be much call for add-on services sales through a third party.

“The sort of people who buy services don’t buy mail-order or over the Net — they buy tin and services from the same full service dealers. I would not be surprised if WStore only got a moderate response from this initiative, but good luck to it,” he ventured.


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This was first published in March 2001

 

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