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Wednesday, 30 January, 2002, 17:37 GMT
Tiny Computers swallowed up
Tiny computer coming off the production line
Tiny failed to cut costs as sales fell
Ailing UK computer retailer Tiny has been bought out by arch-rival Time Computers, after calling in the administrators on Tuesday.

Lancashire-based Time Computers said it plans to trim the two companies' 275 retail outlets down to just 150, in a move that looks set to cause job losses.

"It is expected that (job losses) will be necessary across all areas," the company said in a statement.

Time added that it will transfer Tiny's UK assembly operations, currently carried out under contract in Scotland, to its own headquarters in Burnley.

New retail plans

Time said it plans to launch a new chain of shops in June called "The Computer World," which will sell personal computers (PCs) and related accessories under the Time and Tiny brands.

A spokesman said Time will complete all outstanding deliveries of Tiny computers, and take over the company's customer support and warranty contracts.

Surrey-based Tiny computers failed to trim its costs quickly enough when high street computer sales slumped last year, incurring "substantial" losses, administrators Grant Thornton said in a statement.

The administrators added that "savage" competition made consolidation in the UK computer retail sector inevitable.

Tiny's collapse comes less than four months after the company unveiled plans to double its showrooms in a bid to become the country's largest computer retailer.

Troubled industry

Cut-throat competition began in earnest in the computer industry in the second half of last year, when the global slowdown caused the first drop in global computer sales in 15 years.

The global outlook for PC sales is still uncertain, with most major manufacturers cautious over sales prospects for the first half of this year.

The UK's largest computer retailers include high street giants PC World and Dixons.

Tiny, founded in 1990, described itself as the UK's biggest and longest established computer manufacturer.

It claimed to have sold 400,000 computers in 2000.

See also:

14 Feb 00 | Scotland
Scottish jobs come and go
20 Jul 01 | Business
Global PC sales slump
24 Jan 02 | Business
Gateway cuts 2,250 jobs
14 Aug 01 | Scotland
Contract win brings Tiny boost
25 Jan 02 | Business
Compaq raises profits outlook
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