iShop is dead

So it finally came.

For the past few months, rumors have been floating around that iShop was going to shut its doors and leave the Apple business forever. There are people who doubt the rumors, saying that there is no way in hell that someone as famous as the person who made F1 in Singapore possible was going to close down his Apple business(technically iShop, together with Club21, belonged to Christina Ong, not Ong Beng Seng, but let’s not bother with the details).

However, since about a year or so ago, iShop’s performance has been going down the drain.

iShop, once “Asia’s biggest Apple Reseller”, was never one of the more popular Apple Premium Resellers in Singapore, constantly losing out to Epicenter and Multimedia Integrated in terms of sales. Few knew about iShop’s location as well, as Epicenter has the advantage of being the nearest to the Orchard MRT station and the history of being “Applecentre Orchard”.

Despite all these disadvantages, iShop HAD quality service, HAD staff who knew the local Apple market, HAD finances and connections that made them a very close partner with Apple Singapore, being entrusted with Apple training for the region, and being one of only two educational suppliers in Singapore for Apple.

iShop’s main mistake was probably its management. The management put in place at iShop was one that is highly experienced in FASHION AND APPAREL sales, not computer sales. They also failed to promote their talented sales staff, losing allmany of them in the past two years to Apple resellers such as Cathay Photo and Epicenter. Wrong decisions(regarding sales commissions) were made in the hope of stopping the neverending losses the physical shop made, resulting in loss of morale, followed by a huge drop in quality of service.

Servicing-side wise, the story was most likely roughly the same. There had been a constant decrease in numbers of Mac users who are willing to send in their faulty Macs to iShop, instead opting for the more famous Epicenter (servicing done by Sapura) and eServ/Micro2000 (who provides probably the better service experience compared to other Apple service centres locally). iShop also stopped most of their outreach to local institutions the last time I checked.

Furthermore, in recent years, with the increase in numbers of smaller sized Apple resellers such as iStudio, conveniently located in neighborhoods and prominent locations, there was absolutely no need for anyone to go to iShop to do their servicing or to buy Apple accessories. iShop became the local “Apple Museum”, where people go to play with their Macs, take a look around and leave without buying anything.

When iShop started, it showed much promise, with many hoping that it could overtake Epicenter as the more popular Apple Premium Reseller (many today still hate Epicenter to the core for its practices). Alas, it was a sad tale of lost opportunities and wrong decisions.

Now, hopefully I can get some nice deals at the firesale……

P.S. This post was written with information that I acquired personally, should there be errors I am most willing to be corrected.


MacRyu is the Mac Blog by Singaporeans and for Singaporeans. It was started in April 2007 as a side project of the then President of the Official Mac User Group of NUS, Ryu, and grew to become possibly one of the most popular Apple-related sites based in Singapore. MacRyu hopes to provide you with more Mac-related info, thoughts and stuff, from the Singaporean perspective.

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