At its May launch, chairman of the mail-order software kingpin Steve Bennett said he was confident his new Northwood PC company would achieve 2,000-3,000 sales per month by the end of the year. For a long time, 500 units was closer to the mark and the Coleshill, Warks.-based company admits it has only just notched its first four-figure month.
However, Bennett says he won't follow the advice of cynics who suggested he quit the PC system business and insists his company has learned the hard way from its travails.
"Initially we pitched ourselves as a single brand going up against companies like Gateway. We spent a lot of time on peripheral matters such as the mouse, having the fastest CD-ROM drive and so on. It was a nice idea but we didn't do our homework ... we forgot about the motherboard. Performance is 70 per cent of what it's all about for a lot of buyers"
Software Warehouse is keeping on the Northwood brand but has supplemented it in its stores with Tashika, a lower-cost brand that competes with the likes of Tiny Computers, another UK retail player.
Gone for good is Northwood's NC