Back in August (CI No 497), we wrote it is difficult to find people outside MicroAge and, presumably, Olivetti who think that this chain will succeed where others have failed and now even 100%-owner Olivetti has changed its mind over MicroAge UK. The franchise company’s first outlet, the Salisbury, Wiltshire store, which opened to great local fanfare last year (CI No 510), is shortly to cease trading, and no new stores are planned. The only other outlet, at Dundee in Scotland, to bear the MicroAge banner – a planned store in Kent fell through at the last minute – will continue trading in the hands of its private owners. The news of MicroAge UK’s demise must call into question Olivetti’s policy of building up a chain of retail outlets throughout Europe. Olivetti has already sold off majority holdings in MicroAge Italy and West Germany to local investors and plans to do the same in France. It still holds 46.8% of MicroAge Inc, the Tempe, Arizona company that operates the US outlets.
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