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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on March 8, 2000. All rights reserved.
Computer Sales: Storefronts Still Count
Think opposite sides of the spectrum. One small computer
retailer, American Computer Products
mail order by opening a store on Quakerbridge Road. Meanwhile one
of the big computer mail order companies is opening a showroom on
that threatens to take over the PC market. Order a Gateway computer
by phone or on the Web and in a couple of days the big box with the
black and white cow spots will be sitting at your door.
But, as computer retailers like to point out, ordering remotely does
not offer the "touch and feel" opportunities that "real"
stores have. So Gateway has restructured its business plan and has
opened showrooms, not for sale, but just for the "touch and feel,"
in storefronts and in office supply stores. The first in Princeton
will be on 30 Nassau Street, in a property owned by Pilaf Partners
and leased by Palmer Square Management, between Chambers Street and
Though some of the 235 Gateway Country stores include training centers
and repair shops, this store (deep but narrow) will not accommodate
that, says Greg Lund
it does offer is a place to test the computer before you buy. Gateway
hopes to occupy the space this month and hire 15 employees (800-846-2000,
Usually Gateway showrooms are in small strip malls located near larger
malls — to maximize both accessibility and traffic. But as Lund
says, downtown Princeton is different. This location is just across
from Princeton University, in a space formerly occupied by Edith’s
"I was driving down Route 33, and I noticed there were no computer
stores. But I really wanted some floppy disks," he says. Finally
finding a store, he was "shocked to see such high prices."
So, he started up a computer shop of his own, aiming to offer lower
prices and better service than the competition.
At American Computer Products in Quakerbridge Convenience Center you
can buy or rent a computer assembled onsite, or you can walk home
with a printer, a scanner, or almost any computer accessory (609-689-3255,
"There have been lots of positive responses," says Jung, who
was born in India, has an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson, and has worked
for New Jersey-based CompuMax as a corporate sales manager. He is
unfazed by the specter of the mega computer stores edging out the
smaller shops. He’s wagering that trying where others had failed in
the retail computer market will pay off — and so far, it has.
"It’s because everyone’s leaving that I went into the area. People
are happy to have a computer store close to home."
800-846-2000. Home page: http://www.gateway.com.
Quakerbridge Convenience Center, Mercerville 08619. Halim Jung,
general store manager. 609-689-3255; fax, 609-689-3256. Home page:
New Jersey’s hard sell on tourism has benefits for those
beyond the service industry: it makes entertaining out-of-town business
clients or colleagues a cinch. In fact, the New Jersey Commerce &
Economic Growth Commission puts out its own four-color 98-page journal
with itineraries in each of New Jersey’s distinctly different areas.
Get it for free by calling 609-777-0885 or by E-mail: traveltrade.commerce.state.nj.us.
Princeton, Trenton, and New Brunswick destinations are lumped in under
the "Delaware River Region," which extends from Camden to
Frenchtown, but Princeton and Trenton are both notable stops along
the journey — along with the Cherry Hill Mall.
Students filing for federal financial aid this year
will find the process easier, thanks to electronic filing. The U.S.
Department of Education says the new process, at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov,
should cut down on some of the errors involved in paper applications.
According to the department, roughly 12 to 14 percent of paper applications
are returned due to errors. The electronic version will identify errors
early and allow for corrections. Call the customer service hotline
The Mercer County Bar Foundation is offering a maximum grant of $500
to organizations that support development and/or implementation of
programs which promote conflict resolution or reduce violence in children’s
behavior. The program should involve parents. Call 609-637-4908.
The Prudential Foundation gave $25,000 to Tech Corps New Jersey,
the organization dedicated to providing volunteer technical assistance
to K-12 schools. Call 609-989-7888.
Bristol-Myers Squibb will receive the Warrior award for hosting
the Susan G. Komen Foundation New Jersey Race for the Cure last October.
The face was sponsored by the Breast Cancer Resource Center/YWCA.
The award will be presented to Donald J. Hayden Jr., executive
vice president, at a breakfast at Summit Bank on Thursday, March 9.
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