Queuing computer customers top off an exciting year

OPEN Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cheryl Buggy cuts the ribbon to officially open the  refitted Novatech store
OPEN Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cheryl Buggy cuts the ribbon to officially open the refitted Novatech store
Bar staff Matt Shaw and Megan McEnroe at Drift on Hayling Island

Old boathouse offers cocktails with a twist and views over the sea

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IT’S not often that a refitted shop attracts lines of customers queuing overnight to be the first in when it reopens.

But the car park outside Novatech in Portchester became an impromptu campsite for just that reason.

The dozens of queuing customers were waiting for special deals to mark the shop’s reopening, and for the Novatech staff it topped of a remarkable 18 months.

It has appeared in the Daily Telegraph’s top 1,000 Britain’s Brightest Businesses, and has come in second place behind Apple in a Which? survey of trusted computer brands.

There are also 50 extra staff on the books, and business sales have grown by 60 per cent in the past year.

And it’s all down to a change in direction, implemented by managing director David Furby.

He said: ‘The business sales side was always something that was there for the developing, and it was a question of getting the right team in place and giving it a push.

‘We’ve now got a very good team and we’re having some great successes.’

Mr Furby said the firm’s success is particularly impressive, given the recent closure of Best Buys, and Curry’s being sold for £2 by its parent company.

And for Novatech, the decision to focus on supplying businesses with their technology has been the right one.

‘There’s a difference between needs and wants.

‘A retail customer will want something, but a business will need something .

‘We’re not neglecting our retail business – we have refitted our shop – but we have more potential for growth in the business sector.’

Novatech opened its doors to the public in 1997 with a small shop in front of a large warehouse on the Castle Industrial Estate.

Since then it has added stores in Bristol, Cardiff and Reading.

And its deals to mark the reopening of the Portsmouth store were targeted at retail customers – a half-price ‘gaming’ laptop for the first 10 people through the doors on Saturday, and similar money-off deals for the first 50 and 100 customers.

The queue for the opening stretched around the warehouse.

Mr Furby said: ‘It’s great to see such interest in what we’re doing.’

Novatech hopes to expand its staff by another 50 next year, reaching 300 employees by the year 2013.