Colonial computers to close

Colonial Computers will shut down and move out of its current location on the ground floor of the Marvin Center and into the GW Bookstore in the next few weeks. Store officials cite financial losses and a decline in business in recent years as the reason for the move.

University officials said they are currently discussing what type of venue will replace the store but cannot disclose details until a campus-wide e-mail announcing the move is sent to the University, which will happen within the next two weeks.

“This is not a long-term move and should not affect students . (Colonial Computers’) services will be taken on by the bookstore,” Marvin Center Executive Director Peter Konwerski said.

Colonial Computers is the second ground floor venue to announce its closure this year. In September, GW announced the closure of the post office next semester.

Marvin Center Governing Board Chair Zack Beyer said the MCGB is pushing for the computer store space to become another food venue, and the board is willing to take suggestions and ideas from students.
Administrators said they have yet to decide what will be replacing Colonial Computers.

“Auxiliary Services is doing research over what would be the best option for students,” Konwerski said, noting that there have been no definite plans for the next venue, which will not move in until next semester at the earliest.

All supplies, including software, hardware and printing cartridges, will be available at the bookstore after the move. Officials said students will still be able to order computers, but the store will no long carry large equipment in stock.

Officials said that the store’s income has gone down significantly in the past several years and that the University should make more money if another venue replaced the store.

Business at Colonial Computers has declined because of a surge of competitive business from other computer outlets, including retail Web sites, said Manager for Systems Planning Anne Ready.

Ready said she could not disclose the amount of money GW lost on the Colonial Computers store.

All GW students will receive an e-mail announcing the closing and the move within the next two weeks, said Managing Director for Business Services Michael Peller.

Bookstore manager Pat Lee declined to comment until the e-mail is sent out.

“The change of space can benefit the GW community,” Ready said.
She said officials began to discuss a move in September, which will be a collaborative effort between GW and Follett, the subcontractor that runs the bookstore.

Colonial Computers has been GW’s official computer outlet for more than five years. The bookstore’s computer services will be called “GW Computers and Software.”

Students and staff who currently work in the store have been reassigned to different departments of the University, said Khalil Ghannam, technical specialist at Colonial Computers.

“We helped (employees find new jobs), but students and staff found other jobs in the University on their own,” Ghannam said.

There are currently three full-time staff members and one student working at the store.

“We have cut back our supplies since the beginning of the year but have continued to provide service to students,” Ghannam said. “Students will likely be OK with the change. Prices may even go down at the bookstore. It will hopefully be a very smooth transition.”

Most students said the store’s closure is not significant.

“Good. It’ll free up space for something useful,” sophomore Alex Berger said.

However, some students said they have reservations about the move.

“I didn’t know, and I don’t think it’s a good idea,” sophomore Barbara Brumara said. “The lines at the bookstore are too long already and students need their own computer outlet.”

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