ComputerLand’s UK franchise network has reported a 56% increase in turnover in 1987 with sales exceeding UKP30m and an estimated profit margin of 6%. The network comprises 19 owner-managed retail outlets throughout the UK which operate under a franchise agreement with the American giant, and there are plans to open another five later this year. Founded in 1976 and headquartered in Hayward, California, ComputerLand now has almost 800 centres in 32 countries and had a turnover of $1,800m in the year. Within the UK network ComputerLand has established four IBM Systems Centres, five IBM Business Centres and two centres are authorised to market IBM’s multi-user systems. Every centre is also fully authorised to sell all Compaq products, ComputerLand’s other major systems supplier. Its UK operation has been in existence for six years and ComputerLand claims the reason for its success has been a move away from purely personal computer hardware sales towards services such as engineering maintenance and customer training and consultancy. A breakdown of last year’s business showed that 50% of turnover came from new PC systems, 12% from printers and peripherals, 12% from software and 18% from services. The company hopes to increase the services percentage to 20% next year. Reflecting the growth in market share and the increasing emphasis on support ComputerLand UK staff by 133% during 1987 and now employs 300 staff in the UK.
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