back to article Morgan Computers shuts its doors, sells website

Morgan Computers - one of Britain's longest surviving independent retail PC dealers - has sold its online business to a Jersey-based businessman, but questions remain over its retail arm. Morgan's owner Robert Nicklin was unwilling to comment to The Register on Friday, but the firm's flagship store on Oxford Street remained …


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  1. Carl W

    Sad news

    Bought my first PC from there, an AST 286 10MHz.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    End of an era?

    I've had loads of bargains from Morgan over the years, pretty much every desktop I've ever bought for me or my neighbours post-K6.

    Sadly their auction site has been offline for a year or more.

    Their non-auction site has had a near-negligible selection of HP desktop PCs for a similar length of time; this morning the desktop section isn't there at all. It's those "factory refurb" bargain HP Pavilion PCs that I mostly used to buy. HP used to sell them direct too at but although the HP shop is still there they never have any stock (nor do they have any PDAs or anything else).

    I blame Carly and Hurd, and Vista. Who wants a refurb PC with Vista. I don't. I don't want *any* PC with Vista.

    C'mon Richer Sounds, there's an opportunity here.

  3. Anonymous Coward


    Morgan offered excellent value and I would have thought that, in these times, they would have been performing better than retailers who sell at much higher prices.

    It seems that something is not quite right... did they borrow money to expand and fail to pay back loans on time ?

    I shall miss their A5 yellow pamphlets (which I have not seen for some time). The don't seem to be selling desktops on their website - I got a refurb HP desktop from them in 2003 and it's still running fine. Best of luck to the new owner - Morgan were the Richer Sounds of computing.

  4. seanj

    Ahhh the good old days...

    My first full time job was with Morgan in their New Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road branches.

    Good luck getting a comment out of Bob Nicklin though - ever - he's as tight-lipped as a very tight-lipped thing (unless of course you take him out drinking for the night - he'll tell you everything then!). Never in a million years thought he'd ever sell the business though - best of luck to him and his family.

  5. bertie bassett
    Thumb Up

    The Morgan Flyer

    In the days before ebay Morgan was the place to get end of line kit and much much reduced prices - I've visited both their London and Brum stores (when I was in the area) and it was like walking into a timeslip - generally older stock but some interesting bits and pieces and I reckon I probably bought 3-4 items over the years. Remember buying a pre-cursor to flash drives - 2gb of diskspace stuck into a PCMCIA card format - toshiba IIRC and it felt like a bargain at 40 quid or thereabouts when had been going for 100 or more pre-Morgan. Staff were great - really knew their stuff and seemed to be enthusiasts rather than wage slave monkeys you get at high street stores nowadays. The flyer always got a good browse too, but surprised it doesn't seem to have made it into my email in-box. anyway I guess rents for Oxford street etc are just too expensive for a low-margin, low ticket items so that's probably the end of the stores, but nice to see the website will still be running!

  6. N2

    Its not all bad

    "It's a lovely old established business with a large base of loyal customers. We will probably change as little as possible"

    Lets hope they stick to their word

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Toshiba 2GB PCMCIA hard drive

    Morgan sold me one of those too, and it still worked a couple of months ago, as did the (non-Morgan) HP Jornada 720 "netbook" it was bought for, and unlike the useless CPQ iPAQ which was intended to (but never did) replace the 720.

    I also had more HP Pavilion PCs from Morgan than you can shake a stick at, 2 Olympus cameras and starter kits, a Samsung Syncmaster monitor/TV, some WiFi kit, a cuddly toy...

    No, but seriously... what's happened here? What exactly is wrong with the idea of buying last season's model at a very reasonable price, rather than sending the stuff to landfill? What could possibly be greener than that (apart from making everything to order, rather than guessing at volumes and making for stock)?

    Thank you and best of luck to those who made Morgan what it was, and to those that brought it down: may you burn in hell.

  8. Stuart 22

    Recycling King?

    Got some bargains there too. Until I bought a large monitor. It was defective so I returned it with a note explaining the problem and my contact details. Suprised to be phoned a few weeks later by another customer who had been sent a new identical monitor - which was defective and on investigation he found my original note.

    How to pi** off two customers with one simple 'mistake'?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Ah Morgan auctions. The home PC I presently use came from there. Saw 2 slightly different PCs going at low price, bid on both in the expectation I'd probably get neither but I might get lucky. Won both :-) The HP one with the corrupt hidden system backup partition is in the corner now, needing repair, the Compaq still limping on.

  10. Jonathon Green

    "...but seriously... what's happened here?"

    In one word.


    Morgan is where the trade used to go to offload out-of-date, obsolete, just plain unfashionable, refurbished, returned, surplus, second-hand or sometimes even scrap stock. Nowadays they're either doing it either direct or through people with much lower overheads and sadly operations like Morgan just can't compete with an ebay traders margins.



  11. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

    Another piece of my life gone.

    I've bought lots from Morgan, from camera's (my first digital), through laptops, PC's, memory, hard-disk and DVD recorders and GPS devices.

    I'm seriously upset by the demise of one of the first places I would go to to get a good price for slightly out-of-date but perfectly usable kit. I guess that the PC manufacturers are moving to build-to-order, so there are not the remainder stock that Morgan could shift so well.

    I can't believe that whatever happens, the website will remain the emporium of gadgetry that it was.

  12. Carl W


    When I bought stuff from Morgan the big boxshifters that sell cheap kit, like Dell, hadn't really established themselves. Your best bet for a cheap PC was an end-of-line HP or Compaq. Now you can buy a desktop for £200, and a mini-notebook for the same.

  13. John H Woods Silver badge

    Placed my first test order already...

    I too have fond memories ... bought 10s of 1000s of pounds worth of stuff from these peeps over the years. I recommended them to everyone ... they seemed to be able to talk to noobs and experts alike. Sometimes the kit was D.o.A. but when it was new kit arrived the next day. I bought a v. cheap LCD display off them when it was a rarity and they happily exchanged it for a 1-pixel defect.

    I talked to some new peeps there already and they are certainly making the right noises. I have placed a small test order to see how it goes.

  14. Crayons

    Such a shame

    I worked at Morgan for a good number of years and am sorry to hear this news. I hope all the guys there are okay and have new ventures on the horizon. Best of luck to the staff and i hope the new owner does the Morgan name proud.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns


    Another comment already pointed out that HP used to sell their refurb/surplus kit through Morgan *and* through HP's own eBay shop. The HP shop is still there but hasn't been active for a year or more, and no one else on eBay seems to sell the "official HP Renew" (factory refurb) stuff.

    So I'm less than 100% convinced that eBay is behind this.

    A desktop for £200? A half decent one? Where, other than HP Presario from Morgan 12 months ago?

    Are HP really capable of managing their volume business so well that they're now reliant on make-to-order rather than make-to-stock? Even Dell can't do it right, otherwise you wouldn't see the various "Dell overstock" places around...

  16. Max Jalil

    Well I blame Expansys


  17. Machines
    Thumb Down


    I worked at the Birmingham store in late 2001, upstairs in mail order. Was my first job out of college but didn't get on with it too well, didn't think they were that cheap either ! I only lasted 6 weeks but it's a shame to see them go under.

  18. Robert Carnegie Silver badge


    Maybe the business has been sold just because a good price was offered, nothing wrong with that.

    Or maybe there is less unsold stock, if that's the business they're in. Everything comes frrom China now and maybe they only send as many as will sell. Excess production may now be taken up by the Chinese equivalent of Morgan instead. On the other hand, there was the refurbished product too. But, global recession, companies aren't upgrading their kit and selling second hand so much, any more, probably.

    I looked at the page the other day to see what price old desktops are going for, didn't see any, as already mentioned. There is a Compaq Evo in another local shop for £99 with XP Pro, is it legal? I have it in mind as my wireless router.

  19. Ian 25

    Great shop but bonkers approach to ecommmerce & privacy

    I loved Morgan but had the most extraordinary experience when I bought online rather than from the shop. Order went thru on Sunday morning but received an email the next day asking me to confirm my identity. I phoned first (and rang around several places until i could find someone that knew anything about their web operations), cos the email sure didn't look like it came from Morgan and it all smelt dodgy...

    I rang them, and they told me that I need to fax them various pieces of ID for them to process my order - apparently they checked *every* order against the publicly available Electoral Roll (which I very sensibly opt out of as it is the junk mailers wet dream) as an anti fraud technique and anyone who didn't appear was marked as a potential fraud which they would then follow up...manually. After a lot of arguing and me pointing out that no way was I going to send a copy of my passport to them electronically just to get a cheap hifi, they agreed to send my order. I wonder if they made much money from that website?

    I eventually got a lovely Pure hifi from them at a ridiculously cheap price - the only fault with it is the dead spider in the display (which is probably why the previous customer returned it). The spider is now known as Boris.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    morgan-schmorgan weren't that great

    expensive, and always something really idiosyncratic about anything I bought that made it less of a bargain.

    my first 386 came from there. It had non-standard slots tho'

  21. Jean-Paul

    I'm surprised someone bought them

    I'm surprised someone bought them and that there is so much 'love' for them...Yes the prices seemed cheap, but then again it was mainly old junk they were selling....I never got that store and its customers....I guess it is the same audience that think now they have a 1995 Mitsubishi Pajero they have a Chelsea tractor....Or their Ford Transit with windows is camper van :-)

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good news

    I bought a couple of PCs for my kids there, one failed to work on connecting up so we took it back for repair. Weeks later they still hadn't fixed it and no one seemed interested until Mrs Anon started kicking up (I get told off if I do that). Never used them again.

  23. Anonymous Coward


    that tiny store on New Oxford Street is their flagship shop?

  24. alyn
    Dead Vulture

    Mixed views

    The stuff they sold was cheep but it was not always best quality. I bought a Leading Edge laptop (AKA Daewoo) which lasted a little over a year. Still it got me into this new-fangled Windows stuff (3.11) and helped me to find a new job, so I got my moneys worth.

  25. Simon Brown

    they were certainly cheap...

    They were certainly cheap. Not so sure about quality though... I think every PC and peripheral I bought from them had a problem.

    1st was the HP Compaq pc that wouldn't boot past the "XP is loading" screen. Same problem when I did a recovery. Didn't want to format and reinstall because there might have been a drive fault (there was) and it might have invalidated any kind of warranty. Had to wait ages for them to send that back.

    Then it was the HP pc that didn't have the cd drive plugged in (it was there, just needed me to plug it in). Then an HP pc that ran so slowly I was tempted to take it back (bad drivers, sorted eventually). Then an HP printer that was DOA, a USB 4 port card that was DOA and my neighbour's PC that runs like a dog. Now my girlfriend has one of their cheap as chips pcs as well and it runs like a dog too.

    So I will miss them because their stock was cheap... but I won't miss them for exactly the same reason :)

  26. Rob
    Thumb Down

    Damn Shame

    Gutted, used them a lot for those people that wanted basic kit at an affordable price, lost count on the amount of PC's I bought from them for other people :(

  27. Martin 6 Silver badge

    Inevitable though

    My first laptop came from them, 8086, 512Kb, 2xfloppy drive for £500. Bought loads of gear from them over the years.

    But once PC makers started selling cheap PCs to real people instead of just corporates they were doomed, surprised they lasted so long.

  28. david bates

    Oh dear...

    Not bought from them for a while, but my first PC (Amstrad 2386) came from there, as well as two current desktops (famous name refurbs - turned out to be Packard Bells) which are still going strong.

    My dad still have a Psion II series with printer from there as well :)

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great camera shop

    When they were in Tottenham Court rd they were always one of my favourite windows to browse, not least as they had such an eclectic collection of kit. There was always some interesting oddity such as the large pile of powerful Metz CT60 flashes with lead-acid battery packs that appeared at one time, probably a job lot from a modernising paper.

    Their prices were excellent and I bought a fair bit of kit from them over the years, particularly when I was a student.

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