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Tax Holiday Boosts Sales For Computer Retailer

By YOURI KEMP

Tribune Business Reporter

ykemp@tribunemedia.net

THE value added tax (VAT) holiday boosted sales for one computer retailer – but not for all.

Pia Farmer, owner and marketing director of Custom Computers, told Tribune Business that Custom Computers is “very busy” at the moment for back to school sales.

“We are seeing an uptick since the VAT holiday started,” she said. “We have several laptop and desktop options in stock, and we have bundled Back to School packages with free school bags and accessories for students.

“Custom Computers is fortunate to enjoy long standing relationships with technology distributors and manufacturers which have helped us to secure quality brand products in what is currently a very competitive international market.

“We expect to be quite busy in the next couple of weeks, as we usually are at this time of the year, and we look forward to providing the tools the students need for their academic success.”

However, this success is not shared with all computer stores as one other store owner is not even making payroll.

Craig Pyfrom, managing director at DC Technology, said: “It’s really the slowest I have ever seen it. I mean we’re not even covering salaries right now. Last week Thursday was the worst weekday in my company’s history.”

 The woes for DC Technology has been ongoing since the lockdowns started last year and, as Mr Pyfrom explained, he hasn’t had a good week since early 2019.

 “This is terrible, I don’t know how long we can hold on like this,” he said.

 “The election is coming now, so things will probably get worse. It’s really bad right now, I’m kind of scared.”

 The expectation of schools reopening within the next few weeks couldn’t cheer Mr Pyfrom either: “I spoke to a principal last week and they said they don’t know what they are doing yet. They are just waiting to find out what they have to do. This COVID-19 is so bad, I don’t know what they are going to do?

 “This election campaign is happening right in the middle of the back to school rush too. It’s VAT free now for a lot of stuff, but people just aren’t buying.

 In a release last week, the Ministry of Education said that out of an abundance of caution due to the lingering COVID-19 concerns, government schools will reopen virtually only and also advises that private schools do the same for this upcoming school year.

 “A lot of our stuff right now is VAT free until September 6. If they go away and buy it they still have to pay VAT, so they may as well shop at home.”

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