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[vox] HSC is closing!
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[vox] HSC is closing!



Hey all,

I apologize that this isn't strictly Linux-related,
but I would imagine that many of you are either also
electronics hobbyists...or periodic buyers of older
computer hardware that you use to keep your Linux
boxes running. 

This is in regard to Halted Supply Company (HSC), one
of the last remaining retailers of used electronics
and computer equipment in the Sacramento area. It's an
important niche market and one of the few (perhaps
even the very last) local supplier of items needed by
hobbyists, college-level robotics programs (such as at
American River College), and certain businesses. In
fact, it's one of the last suppliers of such items in
northern California; many educational programs and
hobbyists throughout the North State will simply be
left high and dry unless they are able to drive clear
to Silicon Valley or be able to buy online. (The rest
of the company could well fail in short order as
well.)

It will then be nearly impossible to find an ISA
soundcard or a CPU fan for a Pentium-II chip. A lot of
otherwise salvageable systems will land in the scrap
heap if the Sacramento HSC goes under.

The "competition" in the downtown part of Sac is not
equipped to provide all of the items which HSC does.
HSC currently enjoys a quasi-monopoly in many of the
items it sells - resistors, capacitors, servos,
obsolete ISA-bus computer parts, CRT monitors, plus a
large quantity of current-generation computer hardware
and parts (video cards, motherboards, etc).

Basically the story is that the store is being closed
down by its headquarters in Santa Clara, which is
experiencing a cash flow crisis of some kind. It is
acting in the misguided belief that packing up all the
inventory in the Sacramento location, moving it to
their Santa Clara location and closing down the
Sacramento location, will relieve the pressure on the
company.

The store has circulated the following announcement:
------------
NOTICE:

Corporate HSC has decided to close this store in an
effort to solve their cash-flow problems in Santa
Clara. A meeting of customers who want our store to
stay in business will be held at the store (4837 Amber
Ln) this Tuesday August 28th at 7:00 PM. Please come
if you have ANY interest in keeping our store open.
Potential investors will want to know you care.
-----

The store has been open over 25 years, and its loss
would be a huge blow to local hobbyists and anyone
else who needs the components that it sells.

Here's the deal. The store's management wants to try
to buy the store from the parent company in order to
try and save it. It believes that HSC headquarters
would settle for a lump cash sum for the business,
rather than its current trajectory of selling off the
inventory at a discount and closing down the
operation. The figure of $50,000 has been floated as
an offer to the parent company; it should be possible
to arrive at this sum if a large number of loyal
customers were to chip in.

About 20-25 people came to the meeting on Tuesday and
a significant amount of financial support (on the
order of several thousand; exactly how much has not
been disclosed by management) and it might only be a
little bit more to put them over the top and able to
make a serious offer to buy the store. This would mean
the difference between the store closing and it
staying open for us.

Here's where you come in. Please visit the store and
fill out a "pledge card" offering your time to
volunteer and help keep labor costs down in the event
a deal can be struck. (or at least to shop there). The
store management is also proposing to set up a "co-op"
where a large number of people would chip in $50 or
$100 or whatever to help reach the goal. These people
could be offered a discount on merchandise and/or a
say in how the business gets run as an independent
operation. 

The store is actually turning a profit as we speak,
and if it could simply be kept open, this could
eventually turn into a moneymaker for investors. Store
management, however, stresses that it is a high-risk
venture, with a significant return being some distance
down the road. Basically you shouldn't invest more
than you can afford to lose, as the acting manager put
it.

For more information, please contact the acting
manager 
Marv Walters at deltadevelopment@datacare.us  

He will explain all the details. At the very least,
please send him a note of support and/or pledge a
little cash to help keep the store open. He won't ask
the investors for any money unless a deal can actually
be struck with the HSC parent company. What he needs
the most right now is a significant outpouring of
support from the community (as well as financial
pledges) that he can take to corporate HSC as proof of
local interest in keeping the store open.

Help save HSC! Email Marv. We don't have much
time...the store will be closing forever on 9/15 if we
do not act, and the window of opportunity to negotiate
with the parent company will be gone by Labor Day.

Here's the store's contact information:

HSC Electronic Supply
4837 Amber Ln (just off Auburn Blvd and College Oak)
Sacramento 95841
916-338-2545

I apologize for going on so long, but this is
something I care about and so should you.

I also apologize to any who may feel that this is
inappropriate content for the mailing list, but I had
to let all of you know about this. Your involvement
may make the difference.

Thanks, Matt

---------------------------------------------------------------------
“By perseverance, study, and eternal desire, any man can become great.” - Gen. George S Patton
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