RealTime IT News

Going for Government Gold

An Amazon.com it's not, but PC Mall must be doing something right since it appears to have some longevity in the New Economy version of "Survivor." Now the direct marketer is launching a government and education subsidiary to focus specifically on sales in those sectors.

The Torrance, Calif.-based company said it believes it is particularly "well suited to support the procurement model of the government and education buyer."

PC Mall has historically sold into the public sector markets using dedicated teams of account executives. Now, PC Mall Gov Inc. will provide local account management, along with key services, to tap into IT opportunities in the government and education markets.

The company, which sells computer hardware, software, and peripherals as well as consumer electronics, has closed most of its retail showrooms to concentrate on selling products through telemarketers and Web sites, according to Hoover's. It already operates pcmallgov.com.

After losing 83 cents a share for all of 2000, the company last year made 43 cents a share on revenues of $718.1 million.

The company reported 33 percent year-over-year growth in government and education sales in 2001, and then decided that that figure wasn't good enough.

"We believe that our size and related purchasing power with key vendors as well as the efficiency of our fulfillment infrastructure gives us tremendous service-level capabilities to serve the government market," said Frank Khulusi, PC Mall chairman, president and CEO.

Earlier this month PC Mall acquired most of the assets of privately held Pacific Business Systems Inc., a direct marketer of computer products to business and consumer customers under the ClubMac and PBS brands. PC Mall issued PBS 300,000 shares of its common stock in the deal.

PC Mall, currently trading in the $5 a share range, offers more than 100,000 different products from companies such as Compaq, Microsoft, Apple, IBM and Hewlett-Packard.