UK reseller Rapid Group has sold two of its four Mac channel operations, the well known mail order dealer Macline and the Apple Centre in Cambridge.
That leaves Rapid with Thames Valley Systems and London-based C J Graphics. The latter was acquired from Floral Street Plc only a few weeks ago.
Macline will relocate to Apple Centre Cambridge's offices and take over its entire business, including shop front operations. The new owner, Garret Doyle, ex Insignia Solutions business manager, said that Apple Centre Cambridge will not continue as a separate entity.
For Macline the deal is probably a good move and it comes as Apple UK continues a channel reorganisation. The next stage will see a cull of mail order resellers with an increased focus on the Apple Centre concept and retail sales in general.
Authorised resellers, those who buy through company distributors like Ingram Micro and C2000, will be forbidden from advertising as mail order dealers. Only the UK's three biggest mail order specialists, Computer Warehouse, Mac Warehouse and Jigsaw will retain that right.
Apple UK's pitch is that 15 odd UK dealers selling off-the-page are targetting the same body of buyers and the company said it hopes to encourage resellers to be more proactive in attracting new customers to the Mac platform.
Apple US has probably played a part since it has been pushing the UK company to adopt a more high street retail oriented channel strategy because retail outlets have led the success of the iMac. Arguably the UK market is less suited to such a role - the UK's small high street stores are very different from the CompUSA style superstores that drive iMac sales in the US.
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