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Failed PC brand gets new lease of life

Time for another go?

Time is to make a reappearance eight months after the receivers were called in and it shut up shop. Once the UK's largest home-grown PC reseller, the brand will re-emerge as a direct PC sales company going under the name of Time UK Factory.

Time Computers may be no more but its founders believe they can reinvent the name and successfully compete with manufacturers from the Far East who have largely undercut the profit margins for PC retail in Europe with their low-cost components and peripherals. As well as desktop PCs and laptops, Time UK Factory will sell LCD flat-panel screens and large TVs.

According to spokesman Brian Trevaskiss, formerly of Tiny.com, an offshoot of Time Computers, Time's original factory premises have been acquired from the administrators. The new company will operate as a direct retailer via phone and online sales from its factory. The site in Burnley is still the largest PC production centre in the UK.

Asked how the new Time-branded company would fare in the face of its predecessors' eventual demise and associated bad press, Trevaskiss went on to say that it would focus on "growing the business slowly".

Sales director Bill Slater said: "Our aim is to offer high specification and quality products at direct prices. The emphasis will be on offering better value and support than our main competitors, not purely on having the lowest prices."

This contrasts with the original Time's focus on sales volumes. The new company will compete directly with the likes of other UK PC brands Mesh and Evesham as well as the remnants of Tiny.com which were bought by Watford Electronics.

Trevaskiss was keen to stress that while the new Time will be run by its original founders, in the latter years it "was under a different management team with a different management structure". Whether that makes much difference to public perception remains to be seen when Time UK Factory opens up shop in mid- to late February.

Time - famed for more than 15 years for its successful model of selling low-cost PC systems packed with preloaded software - famously went to the wall in July 2005, leaving many PC Advisor readers saddled with unfulfilled sales orders and uncertain of ongoing support for computers they'd already bought.


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