1/15/2008 11:14:00 AM
Mainline closes m-viron retail stores
One of Orange’s key distributors, Mainline Digital Communications, has announced it is to close the six retail outlets operating under the m-viron brand.
The stores in Tamworth, Burton, Nuneaton, Cannock, Rugeley and Stourbridge will close on January 14th meaning 12 staff will be made redundant.
Mainline’s managing director, Andrew Boden, explained the reason behind the closures. He said:
’We received an approach for the stores late last year, but the deal fell through. In considering that approach, it was felt that the senior management time spent on our retail operation was disproportionate to the amount of return.
’We felt it made more sense to use that time to develop our core distribution business for the benefit of all of our dealer customers. Ninety per cent of connections are B2B, so it makes sense to focus more management time on that area, as well as supporting independent retailers through our m-viron franchise and our Blueprint marketing programme.
“The sale made commercial and operational sense and so – reluctantly – does the disposal. We could have put the stores up for sale, but the low cost and immediacy of closure was preferred to the more complicated and drawn out process of a sale. The value of the stores is negligible compared to the scale of our core distribution business.”
Boden claimed that the closures would not have a negative impact on Mainline’s m-viron franchise. ‘On the contrary, there has never been a better time to be an m-viron store and that is set to continue,’ he said. ‘We plan to recruit more independent retailers to the programme. The benefits of being an m-viron dealer are akin to those enjoyed by Orange Federated dealers and we plan to further enhance those competitive advantages over the coming year.’
The closures come at the start of what is tipped to be a difficult year for distributors – especially those who, like mainline, are tied to one single network.