PC World Business has acquired Micro Warehouse UK, one of the UK's longest-established direct resellers of IT products, including Macs under its MacWarehouse brand.
The news could be good for Mac users, and for Apple. PC World Business managing director Derek Lloyd told me: "One key thing we need to increase across the group is to increase the Mac-related skill levels among staff."
"The Mac community will continue to benefit from the strong expertise of knowledgeable MacWarehouse staff," he observed.
Micro Warehouse generated £143 million sales in the year ended December 31 2003 and had net assets of £21.4 million at that date. The acquisition has already received approval from US regulators. It includes all Micro Warehouse UK brands – MacWarehouse, Micro Warehouse, Technomatic and Inmac.
PC World Business (PCWB) plans a "two-way transfer" of best practices, and hopes customers will benefit from the deal, which it describes as: "Bringing a well-established business into the PCWB operation that will consolidate PCWB's capabilities in specialist markets.
PCWB group managing director Simon Turner said: "This is an important deal that will further consolidate our position in the business-to-business technology market in the UK. The Micro Warehouse business will add scale to our unique combination of direct selling, national network of Business Centres and cutting-edge value-added services."
Moving forward, PCWB hopes to "improve on the services it offers", including skill levels among front-end staff, Lloyd suggested.
While declining to discuss specifics to the company's Mac business plans at this time, Lloyd stressed: "We have already started delivering Mac-dedicated areas in our Croydon store, and may expand this to other stores in future."
Lloyd said: "We are focused on building upon Micro Warehouse’s established track record in delivering expert, dedicated service to customers with specialist requirements, including, importantly, the Apple user community. I am confident that our scale and resources will enable us to deliver an unrivalled offer to existing and new customers alike."
Existing MacWarehouse customers should experience "no impact" as a result of the deal, Lloyd said.