ComputerLand returns to Canada

One of the IT industry’s oldest names in computer reselling is returning after an absence of almost a decade.

ComputerLand, which at one point had 102 franchised outlets across the country, is being resurrected as an online store for the small office home office (SOHO) market by the marque’s

owner in Canada, NexInnovations Inc.

“”We saw both the opportunity and the need in the SOHO market, and we had this valuable asset, the trademark ComputerLand,”” explained NexInnovations president Hubert Kelly.

So was born to sell everything from digital cameras and servers to network cables.

It quietly went online in February to iron out the kinks. He’s not ready yet to start a full marketing campaign. But over the summer there will be promotions of the site in several cities to increase its visibility and full promotion in September.

He is quick to emphasize that the online store is aimed at a different market from NexInnovations, which is a corporate and government value added reseller.

However, the key difference will have from other online competitors is that it will offer on-site services, taking advantage of its parent’s technical staff.

“”We’re very early in the evolution of what we’re trying to do,”” he said. “”Most of our focus has been on building the search engine,”” he said. “”We’re taking the feedback and repositioning weekly both the products and the models and how to make it an easier experience.””

“”What we will be able to do over time as we round out the offerings and get better at it is leverage our own services capability. Not only will you be able to buy a product off our site, but our goal is you could buy it with enhanced warranty, (enhanced service) response times, installation, and you could do that also through telesales support that we’re going to build out.””

While the NexInnovations name is barely a year old, the history of ComputerLand in this country is a reminder of its origins 25 years ago as Computer Innovations, a hardware distributor. In 1986 it bought control of the ComputerLand Canada franchise. Two years later Computer Innovations was bought by SHL Systemhouse, which focused the company on selling solutions to the corporate market. ComputerLand stores disappeared.

In 1999 SHL was bought by EDS Corp., which called the company EDS Innovations until last June, when Kelly purchased it to create NexInnovations, with customers from corporations to the federal government. allows the firm to serve small companies, said Kelly. “”This vehicle will help us get to that market and utilize our services capability, but have an efficient sales model.”” Most of the five-person staff building the site are from NexInnovations.

Among the services is flat rate $12.99 shipping delivery to anywhere in the country.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer. Former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, Howard has written for several of ITWC's sister publications, including Before arriving at ITWC he served as a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times.

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