Catalogues have provided a niche market for Quantum Microponents. The company offers a service to computer buyers, who ring up, say how much they want to spend and are told which machines they can get for their money. Quantum offers high levels of customer service, employing subcontractors to install the computers in the home, ensuring a very low return rate. This business, combined with the distribution of components to the trade, has driven up company sales by 77% a year, from £3.6m in 1996 to £20m in 1999. The Southport company was founded by Chris Grierson and Jed Consett in Consett’s barn in 1996. It was an immediate success, turning over £250,000 in its first month. Quantum has won contracts to supply catalogues for Littlewoods, Freemans and Great Universal Stores.
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