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June 28, 1990

WILDING FINDS THE RETAIL SIDE IS TOUGH

By CBR Staff Writer

As if further proof were needed that to operate in the UK personal computer market profit margins must be pared to the bone, Wilding Office Equipment has provided it with pre-tax profits down 52% to UKP465,000 on turnover up 16% to UKP30m. Ilford, Essex-based Wilding distributes IBM, Olivetti, Toshiba and Brother personal computers, along with Psion Mobiles. However, Wilding is ploughing ahead with its plans for geographical expansion and over the interim period has opened new retail shops in Leicester, London Wall, Southampton and Cheltenham. Following the success of the Clerkenwell Business Systems Centre which was opened last year as a showroom and reference centre for the Southern region (CI No 1,312), Wilding is now opening a similar facility in Deansgate, Manchester. A distribution centre has also been acquired in Manchester. Despite the fact that Clerkenwell was supposed to be the first of nine such Centres, chairman Terry Wilding says that the company is now entering a period of consolidation and has declared that the current phase of its expansion strategy is now completed with the opening of a Business Systems Centre in Newcastle upon Tyne this month. Open Plan Ltd office furniture is trading well and meeting its budgets, largely because screens to partition offices are enjoying something of a boom. Terry Wilding is hopeful for the long term but warns that trading over the next six months is likely to continue to be difficult in UK markets.

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