NCIX filed for bankruptcy last Friday after closing down its last walk-in retail store. The exact reasons why the company had run out of money are not disclosed officially, but chatter indicates that NCIX spent too much on retail stores and too little on improving the efficiency of its online business.

NCIX (or Netlink Computer Inc.) was founded in 1996 by Steve Wu in Burnaby, British Columbia. Initially, NCIX was a walk-in retail outlet, but in 1997 the company began to sell products online, attracting customers both from Canada and the US. Over the years, NCIX established multiple walk-in stores in Canada and expanded its online business in North America to a point when it had to build a distribution center in California to serve its customers from the US. faster and cheaper. For years, the company has competed both against traditional retailers as well as against online rivals like Amazon and Newegg. NCIX survived multiple PC retailers in Canada, which encouraged it to focus on “real” stores. So instead of investing in online sales assets (such as warehouses, distribution centers, and delivery methods), the company invested heavily in large walk-in retail outlets in the recent years, its former employees say. In total, the company used to have about a dozen of retail locations in Canada, all of which were expensive to run.

Since NCIX remains a privately-owned entity, it does not show its financial results to the public, so it is unclear how much money it earned and how much money it lost in the recent years. What is known is that NCIX has been shutting down its walk-in outlets since July and then in September it announced a restructuring plan under which it would focus on online sales. On November 30, the firm closed down its last retail store and on December 1 it filed for bankruptcy with the Supreme Court of British Columbia, under File Number 170816. The website of the Supreme Court does not offer any details about the insolvency but reveals that Bowra Group will manage the procedure.

At press time, NCIX’s website was up, but it is hard to recommend to make purchases from a retailer that is in the midst of insolvency. At present, it is unknown what is going to happen to the online store and to the brand.

Sources: NCIX, CSO, LinusTechTips.

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  • dromoxen - Tuesday, December 05, 2017 - link

    that order is for FRYS.. too long working In McD? Reply
  • Theodore76 - Monday, December 04, 2017 - link

    I've had some pretty bad experiences with NCIX and clearly so have others. I stopped using them and started using more marketplaces. However, I found a few sellers on Amazon sell cheaper direct, and started buying from Newegg, Amazon, Mikes and PC Part Picker. There is always someone to take their place, and I'm happy for NCIX to go, but sad the competition is leaving which is never good for prices. Reply
  • Gunbuster - Monday, December 04, 2017 - link

    At least Linus had the good sense to get out while the getting was good. Reply
  • milkod2001 - Tuesday, December 05, 2017 - link

    he left them like 15 years ago Reply
  • tascforce - Wednesday, December 06, 2017 - link

    15 yrs ago Linus was 15 yo lol Reply
  • cyberguyz - Monday, December 04, 2017 - link

    Wow, that's a shame. And I just checked them out for threadripper parts today. I also found their Markham Ont. store convenient when I wanted to visit a brick & mortar store. Sux that my options are now reduced to Canada Computers, Amazon and newegg.ca Reply
  • rrinker - Monday, December 04, 2017 - link

    It boggles my mind in this day and age how anyone can think investing heavily in brick and mortar stores while ignoring online sales is even remotely a good idea. And this a technology seller! I am continually reminded of this in my other hobby - model trains. There are few B&M train shops left, almost none when they have no web presence. The couple of notable ones that are booming embraced the web and online sales early on. One of these should be the model for ANY online reseller - their inventory system is so accurate and real time that as soon as you add an item to your cart, it is removed from the inventory, just like in a real store. It only goes back if you remove it from your cart. I have NEVER had a backorder from them - if their system says they have at least one when you click Add to Cart, you get it. No surprise a day later when they say they shipped PART of your order. If a single purpose store like this can do it (they sell ONLY trains and related hobby supplies, they do NOT sell cars, radio control, or other crafts), there's no excuse for the giant e-tailers. Plus they DO still have a store you can visit if you want to, but mainly it would be for instant gratification - for many items you need to key in what you want on in-store computers, and then they bring it to you. Reply
  • Hxx - Tuesday, December 05, 2017 - link

    A B&M store makes sense where there is a lot of foot traffic. but they also need to sell products that the majority buys. The majority does not buy computer parts, and thats why Best Buy is still in business, because they sell anything from iphone cords to refrigerators. Personally i feel sad these guys are gone, even though i dont remember last time i bought something from them, but it gave me that false sense of hope that Amazon cannot destroy their competitors. I feel like with every small/medium chain closing we are getting closer and closer to Amazon monopoly. 10 years from now we will all be shopping at Amazon for anything from socks to cars. Reply
  • evilspoons - Monday, December 04, 2017 - link

    I guess this explains why Memory Express is expanding westward from Alberta in to BC. Reply
  • Dizoja86 - Monday, December 04, 2017 - link

    Their prices have been far less than competitive for quite awhile now. My last purchase from them was for a laptop I purchased in the summer that had excessive (really, really excessive) backlight bleed and a non-functional USB port. It took me a week of emailing back and forth with them just to have them approve my exchange, and then of course I had to pay for the shipping back to them, and wait until they had received the item before they'd even start processing the replacement.

    My next purchase was a laptop hard drive from Amazon which arrived with a defect. I applied for an RMA at 2:30 in the morning, and by 2:35 they had approved the RMA and started the return process with a "yeah just ship the drive back to us within a month with this free shipping label". I had no desire to return to NCIX after that.
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