Pacific Retail is launching a new IT chain aimed at the professional user and small business end of the market.
Pacific Retails also owns the existing Noel Leeming, Bond & Bond and Computer City stores.
The first store of the new chain, known as Big Byte, opens in Christchurch tomorrow, with a second store due in Palmerston North by the year-end, with others set for Auckland and Wellington next year. The megastore outlets will each be around 10,000 square-metres.
Pacific Retail general manager of sales and marketing Michele Teague says company research found the professional and small business IT sector was under-served by existing retailers.
"We have described it (our new chain) as a computer and communications store. Internally we refer to it as an internet store as it's all about the connectivity that's happening, integrating solutions at home, going the whole caboodle," she says.
Teague says each store features a solutions centre offering advice on complex requirements and a PC clinic with technical support staff. On-site account managers can also visit businesses. She also claims a New Zealand first in the stores letting customers design and build their own PCs from Hewlett-Packard parts and accessories.
The Big Byte concept took a year to get from paper to implementation, she says, which is why Auckland and Wellington, have missed out on the start. Suitably large plots of land are scarce in the two main cities, whereas Palmerston North and Christchurch had suitable sites, helped by the closure of the Christchurch Computer City store.
Pacific Retail CEO Peter Halkett says, "Big Byte is the first and only retail outlet to offer this level of expertise and serviuce to anyone from small businesses, serious computer buffs to home users."