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Breaking news: Simply gets simpler

Manufacturing, warehousing and the main man leave London HQ

PC supplier Simply Computers has restructured, leaving only a sales department in its Walthamstow, north London base and laying off up to 70 people.

The company's long-serving head of marketing, Kevin McSpadden, has also resigned, but this is unrelated to the restructuring, claim company officials.

Simply's Walthamstow HQ used to house PC assembly, warehousing and sales. As of the beginning of April, assembly was contracted out to the UK Configuration Centre based in Bishops Stortford. The 22 Simply staff involved in assembly either transferred or were made redundant.

Now warehousing, quality assurance and returns have also left Walthamstow, merging with Simply's warehouse in Greenock, Scotland. London staff have been offered Greenock jobs, positions within sales or offered redundancy terms.

"This makes us more efficient and we're growing the sales team," said Les Biggs, vice president of European operations for Systemax Europe which owns Simply, Misco and Global Direct. "The [PC business] is going through turmoil currently, but our European and UK operations are growing."

UK turnover for the group is about £250m and it assembles about 30,000 PCs a year. Redundancy terms are reported to be up to three times the statutory level.

McSpadden, UK marketing director for Systemax Europe, leaves the company at the end of May. He has served with Simply for over eight years, first as sales director, then as general manager when Systemax bought Simply in 2000.

"It's an amicable parting that has no connection with the restructuring," said Biggs. "He's decided it's time to move on."

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