Tiny's big plans won't fall into Escom trap

UK PC maker and retailer Tiny Computers plans to double its number of UK stores to around 50 by the end of the year, claiming it will not suffer the same fate as Escom. The company has also said it is unmoved by Compaq's plans to sell direct to its target markets.

UK PC maker and retailer Tiny Computers plans to double its number of UK stores to around 50 by the end of the year, claiming it will not suffer the same fate as Escom. The company has also said it is unmoved by Compaq's plans to sell direct to its target markets.

Tiny has expanded rapidly this year on the back of low-priced PC kit and inevitable comparisons have been made with Escom. However, Tiny marketing manager Alison Koster said that there are some fundamental differences in company overheads when compared with Escom.

"We sell direct, therefore there are no stocks in the showroom," said Koster. "That enables us to use smaller retail sites and secondary sites and therefore avoid the massive cost hits that Escom took for its showrooms."

Tiny has also launched a small business solution package which includes a 166MHz Pentium MMX-based PC with 16Mb RAM, 2Gb hard disk and 12-speed CD-ROM drive, internal modem, Internet software, a 4ppm Oki laser, Microsoft Office 97 and Instant Accounting '97 for Sage. The solution costs £899 + VAT although the company is also offering a leasing scheme through Wyse Leasing.

The company quoted weekly leasing prices of about £7, but Koster added that this was the lowest possible leasing price. "Wyse Leasing will assess the risk of customers and calculate a rate accordingly."

Tiny is using this solution to target the kind of micro and small business market that Compaq is expected to tackle with its direct plans. Koster admits that it is an attractive market at the moment, especially for direct vendors but that Tiny is confident in its own abilities to hold market share. "We're not going to get pushed out," she said.

Tiny can be contacted by telephone on 01293-821333

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