This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
ON THE FRONTLINE A day in the life of a…


ou have turned the monitor on, haven’t you?”


Paul Bocking is already on the phone as I enter the cosy shop on Chelmsford’s busy Baddow Road. “Well, you need to plug


the power lead into the monitor for it to work,” he adds. “That’s right. Okay? No problem, talk to you soon.” Paul puts the phone


down and greets me. He looks after Computer World’s commercial side as IT solutions director. Paul explains: “Customers mostly call us if their computer doesn’t work – and usually it’s because it hasn’t been plugged in or switched on correctly. But you have to be understanding.” The door suddenly opens


– it’s the delivery man with a bunch of parcels. A Fractal tower and Hanns-G monitors sit among the stock. IT technician Stuart Roat


takes the boxes upstairs to the shop’s repair centre. There are components scattered everywhere up here, from power supplies to graphics cards and motherboards – it’s a PC geek’s heaven. “It was nice and tidy up


here once, before the chaos you see here,” calls a voice from the corner desk. It’s technical director Gary Pollington, who looks after the day-to-day running of the business. He tells me Computer


World started off repairing white goods before turning to computers in 1995. “You could earn a decent


profit on a PC system back then,” he says. “There were also more rival indies around. Then PC World and the supermarkets came in –


www.pcr-online.biz


STORE OWNER Y


It’s not easy running an independent store. Dominic Sacco spends a day with the staff at Chelmsford’s longest-serving PC retailer, Computer World, to find out what it’s really like behind the counter…


MEET THE TEAM (from left to right): IT technician Michael Bonard, PA Liz Pollington and directors Gary Pollington and Paul Bocking


FACT FILE


Year established: 1995 Number of outlets:Two


Contact: 01245 280 807


Email: info@computerworld.uk.com


Website: www.computerworld.uk.com


the market was flooded and prices came down. Repairs and business support services are our core focus.” On the wall there’s ‘the


done rack’ – shelves filled with repaired PCs waiting to be picked up by their owners. If they turn up, that is. “Our oldest job was


completed 213 days ago,” Stuart explains. “The customer wanted a new hard drive fitted – it’s still waiting there for him. “We once had a lady drop her PC in to be repaired, which we completed straight away. She returned to pick it up one year later.” We head back downstairs.


Several customers have come and gone already –


mainly to bring in or pick up a computer, but there was one who just wanted to print off a single A4 document. The door swings open and another steps in, dropping off a laptop for repair. “When will it be ready?”


he asks. “Around 15 minutes,”


Stuart replies. “Okay, I’ll come back in half an hour.” The customer returned two hours later. I’m beginning to


understand the challenges of running a PC store. I ask Paul what some of his main grievances are. “You will need all day for


that,” jokes Gary. Paul says the biggest


grievance is competing with retailers that sell at a loss, followed by customers getting advice in-store then buying elsewhere online. But it’s not all bad. Paul


says: “99 per cent of business customers come back to us, and we’ve got a good reputation locally. We’re the


“Customers mostly call us if their computer doesn’t work – and usually it’s because it hasn’t


been plugged in.” Paul Bocking,


Computer World


longest serving computer shop in Chelmsford.” In the afternoon, we head


over to Computer World’s recently opened second store in Bond Street, a busier part of Chelmsford’s city centre. It has a larger window display and much greater footfall. After some more customer enquiries, and before the day draws to a close, I ask Paul what he thinks about new tech around the corner such as improved 3D printers, wearable tech and 4K monitors. “People don’t really want


them yet,” he says. “They want a bog standard PC that’s cheap to run.” Paul’s frank statement is surprisingly refreshing to hear. As I leave the store I realise that despite declining global PC sales, there will always be a demand for them – and for repairs – as long as stores like Computer World are around.


PCR January 2014 | 51


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92