In 1991, the owners of Computer Attic faced a difficult decision. In less than a decade, their business had evolved from a barebones mail-order software operation to a local chain of highly respected computer stores. Now, as the market for computer products matured, the distribution channel was in a state of rapid flux. A shift in customer buying patterns was fueling the growth of a whole new retail and mass merchandising channel for computer products. As new superstores opened in the area, Computer Attic needed to formulate a response. Should this company focus its efforts on high-margin corporate sales, where value-added in terms of service, training and support could still command a premium? Or should the company develop a stronger presence in the retail segment and consider opening a superstore?
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