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NCIX Files for Bankruptcy Following Store Closures

NCIX Files for Bankruptcy Following Store Closures

By Simon Hung

Canadian computer hardware retailer Netlink Computer Inc., more commonly known as NCIX, has officially filed for bankruptcy, according to court filings from the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

No official statement has been issued by the Richmond-based company as of December 4 and their online store remains open, but we’d advise against shopping online given the current situation.

The motion was filed on December 1 and the move comes after the company had announced their intentions to restructure and focus on online sales this past September -- a plan that ultimately resulted in the closures of all stores in British Columbia in November. Back in July, NCIX also closed all three of their stores in Ontario, leading some to question their financial stability and future in Canada.

Court filings show NCIX filed for bankruptcy on December 1, 2017.

Former NCIX employee and tech YouTuber Linus Sebastian shed some light on what may have gone wrong, attributing part of their downfall to questionable decision-making and overzealous store expansion while trying to compete with online behemoths like Amazon.

At their peak, NCIX had a total of 12 stores in Canada along with two head office locations. All physical stores are now permanently closed and any customers with existing orders are being advised to visit the NCIX RMA/Service Centre at 13330 Maycrest Way in Richmond, BC or place a cancellation request through their online forum.

39 Comments

    • Canada Computers will probably follow suit soon... it's not like their retail stores offer much value.

      Now the issue will be how to return items.
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    • loserga wrote:
      Jul 18th, 2017 9:58 pm
      Canada Computers will probably follow suit soon... it's not like their retail stores offer much value.

      Now the issue will be how to return items.
      Really, you think? I'm under the impression they're doing very well - they've got several locations throughout the GTA and if not for the odd NCIX sale (like the 3TB Toshibas for $100 I was getting) I'd be shopping there exclusively.

      As for returns, the site is still up and the company's not going anywhere, just closing brick and mortar locations in Ont. Probably more annoying now, but shouldn't be a huge issue.
    • Report Post
    • I don't think NCIX closed their physical locations because they're losing money. I think they did it because they realized that their retail stores don't generate any value.
    • Report Post
    • they'll probably be forced to reopen 2 locations later on once they realize sales is dropping.
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    • Weird. Has the First Markham Place location been closed for a while or something? I passed by there the other day. I didn't bother checking to see if it was open or not but I didn't immediately notice any indications it was shut down.

      Oh well. That's too bad. I preferred NCIX as well and I still like to walk into physical stores sometimes since I get impatient and don't like to wait for shipping.

      Now that I think about it. The last few times I've bought something at NCIX, the only location that had the item in stock was the Markham showroom. So, I guess things won't be much different for me after all.
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    • It was bound to happen. Their clientele are people who know what to buy. They are generally a pickup depot and less of a store. Canada computers on the other hand is similar but with a lot of product out on display so the occasional customer can come in and browse for items. Not everyone like to shop on the computer. I've ran into situations where I don't have time to look on the website for the cheapest price so I look at a wall of product and go for the one that's on sale and sometime you want these customers as time crunch = profit. Could not do that with ncix. Had to look online and order then wait for pick up, taking too much time.

      Their stores are generally empty when I go, with the occasional customer waiting to pick up.
    • Report Post
    • EPcjay wrote:
      Jul 18th, 2017 11:39 pm
      It was bound to happen. Their clientele are people who know what to buy. They are generally a pickup depot and less of a store. Canada computers on the other hand is similar but with a lot of product out on display so the occasional customer can come in and browse for items. Not everyone like to shop on the computer. I've ran into situations where I don't have time to look on the website for the cheapest price so I look at a wall of product and go for the one that's on sale and sometime you want these customers as time crunch = profit. Could not do that with ncix. Had to look online and order then wait for pick up, taking too much time.

      Their stores are generally empty when I go, with the occasional customer waiting to pick up.
      Good summary. I never used their locations as actual stores, just pick up depots.
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  • zod
    • I can't remember the last time I bought something in person at a computer store. I always order online. Even when I build a new PC. People like me probably make it harder to run physical locations.
    • Report Post
    • I was at the Vancouver, Broadway location a couple of months ago, after not being there for a long, long time, and they seem to have cut down the retail floor space to half.
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    • CC stores are a different operation. They sell a bunch of other things besides computer parts which means their customer base is broader.

      Yes, I usually order my computer parts on-line but for those times when you're in the middle of a build and run out of thermal paste or a component dies, I like being able to go to a physical store.
    • Report Post
  • Gee
    • loserga wrote:
      Jul 18th, 2017 10:11 pm
      I don't think NCIX closed their physical locations because they're losing money. I think they did it because they realized that their retail stores don't generate any value.
      Isn't that the same thing? If it offers no value, your just wasting money paying rent and salaries.
    • Report Post
    • Sorry I meant that they aren't in the red.
    • Report Post
    • EPcjay wrote:
      Jul 18th, 2017 11:39 pm
      It was bound to happen. Their clientele are people who know what to buy. They are generally a pickup depot and less of a store. Canada computers on the other hand is similar but with a lot of product out on display so the occasional customer can come in and browse for items. Not everyone like to shop on the computer. I've ran into situations where I don't have time to look on the website for the cheapest price so I look at a wall of product and go for the one that's on sale and sometime you want these customers as time crunch = profit. Could not do that with ncix. Had to look online and order then wait for pick up, taking too much time.

      Their stores are generally empty when I go, with the occasional customer waiting to pick up.
      yes. Everybody likes to hate on CC. Yes they basically have no return policy or PM policy but having CC around saved me a few times.

      There were times when I needed something and needed to make a run to CC because I needed the item and couldn't wait for now. CC has lots of items in stock (and you can check online for stock at every store). NCIX, not at all. Even things like common memory cards or mice that NCIX had advertised ON SALE, you would have to order online for a in store pickup as they only had stock in the warehouse.

      If CC closed up stores I would be a sad warpdrive, because there were more than a couple of times I needed to make a detour after work or lunch to pick up something I needed. My SATA cable is too long or my fan is making weird noises, run to CC. I needed some extra HDD screws or a new bracket for my SSD that I just got? Run to CC. I'm installing my cooler and I just ran out of paste, run to CC. CC prices can be just as good as NCIX but you have the option to go get it right away (and for things like HDD, I prefer picking it up than having them ship it to me anyway)
    • Report Post
    • warpdrive wrote:
      Jul 19th, 2017 9:19 am
      yes. Everybody likes to hate on CC. Yes they basically have no return policy or PM policy but having CC around saved me a few times.

      There were times when I needed something and needed to make a run to CC because I needed the item and couldn't wait for now. CC has lots of items in stock (and you can check online for stock at every store). NCIX, not at all. Even things like common memory cards or mice that NCIX had advertised ON SALE, you would have to order online for a in store pickup as they only had stock in the warehouse.

      If CC closed up stores I would be a sad warpdrive, because there were more than a couple of times I needed to make a detour after work or lunch to pick up something I needed. My SATA cable is too long or my fan is making weird noises, run to CC. I needed some extra HDD screws or a new bracket for my SSD that I just got? Run to CC. I'm installing my cooler and I just ran out of paste, run to CC. CC prices can be just as good as NCIX but you have the option to go get it right away (and for things like HDD, I prefer picking it up than having them ship it to me anyway)
      Yea CC is practically right around the corner from me. Saved me a few times as well. I've only been into an NCIX store (Markham) once. I actually prefer the CC store and pick up whatever I need there.
    • Report Post
    • dementia13 wrote:
      Jul 18th, 2017 9:33 pm
      Just went to my local NCIX (Toronto, Yonge St.) and was surprised to learn that they're closing. What's more, the guy said they're closing all physical stores in Ontario. He said that he only found out about it this morning, and they've got to get out of the building immediately (next few days). Seems very odd that management would give them no warning then tell all the employees to pack up and that they're out of a job immediately.
      That's not odd, that's exactly what usually happens when companies close offices/stores/locations. Employees are always given very little notice, though granted usually it's at least a month or so.

      I'd ask about clearance deals but:
      1. NCIX has the worst clearance deals as it is (their eBay outlet has some gems at times though, so long as no one bids)
      2. They say these stores are "closed for business" as in immediately. I'm guessing you can't do anything there except pickups from now until the full close-up date.
      3. Everything will probably go back to the warehouse anyway.

      I'm sure some "I told you so" folks are going to come in here and say that because I'm pretty sure ppl predicted this earlier on RFD, no? Myself I didn't believe it either, but here you have it.

      Retail continues to be a dying business in Canada, for all kinds of merchandise.
    • Report Post
    • I'm just glad NCIX got out of the retail side of things before they went completely broke. We need the competition in the market. Hopefully they will be able to lower prices and better compete now that they are essentially online only. Amazon has really been bringing the heat lately with great prices and a great return policy, plus a wider availability of PC components.
    • Report Post
    • Good thing they're keep the Markham warehouse location, i'm close to there haha. But yeah i never went to NCIX to shop, only to pick up my order because shipping was either too expensive or i didn't want to wait for it.
    • Report Post
    • Canada computers will survive no matter if people will hate them. I hate Bestbuy but I don't see them going out of business. NCIX has always been too small to serve a larger audience, thus their stores were very niche and narrow selection that not many can go to browse and pickup more than they intended to buy.
    • Report Post
    • NCIX stores are so empty. I really like their store pick up option. I'm gonna miss it.
    • Report Post
    • joeyjoejoe wrote:
      Jul 19th, 2017 12:46 pm
      NCIX stores are so empty. I really like their store pick up option. I'm gonna miss it.
      you still have the warehouse option if you are close by Markham
    • Report Post
    • In Toronto, I think all the Canada Computers stores are better located then NCIX stores. Being in core downtown, it is great to have that CC store on Spadina. I rarely go up to the NCIX on Yonge and Eglinton since it requires a subway ride and time, and I don't think the demographics of that area are generally much older with little interest in computer parts.
    • Report Post
    • EPcjay wrote:
      Jul 19th, 2017 1:32 pm
      you still have the warehouse option if you are close by Markham
      Nope. My preferred pick up is Mississauga.
    • Report Post
    • This is saddening, as I have had good experience with NCIX. I hope this doesn't mean their business is struggling. As a side note, I hope this means they'll hire somebody outside of time travelling webdesigners from 1998 work on their website.
    • Report Post
  • Gee
    • NCIX will now have to compete with Newegg and Amazon in the cyber battle. I don't know if they have the stones to survive such a battle.
    • Report Post
    • The last few times I ordered from NCIX, I wasn't impressed by their turnaround time. Stuff that was in stock took forever to ship, and the shipping wasn't free either. Luckily the instore pickup option was available and that took the sting out of shipping fees. I forsee myself buying a lot less from them in the future

      It's not like their prices were anything special, quite often CC, Amazon or Newegg had same or better sale prices for the same stuff
    • Report Post
  • Gee
    • I find Newegg is the most aggressive on pricing.
    • Report Post
    • Mastagon wrote:
      Jul 19th, 2017 3:48 pm
      This is saddening, as I have had good experience with NCIX. I hope this doesn't mean their business is struggling. As a side note, I hope this means they'll hire somebody outside of time travelling webdesigners from 1998 work on their website.
      They're struggling.
      Online service took a nosedive around the last time I ordered from them.
      Supposedly massive layoffs on that side of the house, too.

      And yes, their website (core functionality) has not changed one bit since I first shopped with them 13ish years ago. They wrap a new graphic and border or whatnot, but the core functions have not changed. You can't even cancel an order online if it has processed but not yet shipped. (not even "cancel, but know that we can't guarantee the cancel message will make it through before shipment", just no option to cancel at all)

      I had excellent service from them as well, up until earlier this year.
    • Report Post
    • Gee wrote:
      Jul 19th, 2017 5:19 pm
      I find Newegg is the most aggressive on pricing.
      But so many things don't have free shipping on newegg.
    • Report Post
    • I used to be able to pick up from NewEgg's warehouse but I've found that I am not able to anymore.
    • Report Post
    • This was their internal email:
      Subject: NCIX - Ontario Annoucement 

      Dear Staff,

      We regret to inform you that NCIX will be exiting the Ontario retail market and downsizing the Markham warehouse operations starting this week.

      NCIX opened our first retail store in Toronto about 8 years ago.  We have made every attempt to develop the retail business there.  We had committed a lot of financial resources in supporting our four retail stores in Ontario but did not see the desired results.  With consumers continuing to make purchases more and more through online rather than visiting a retail store in the traditional shopping behavior, we made the tough decision to close our Ontario retail stores.

      We are aware of the impact from closing the Ontario retail stores and downsizing the warehouse will have on our employees, but these measures are necessary to make NCIX stronger and better positioned to face the changes in the industry and the consumer needs in future.

      We would like to express our appreciation to all the wonderful and supportive employees we have had through the years.  For those who are leaving NCIX, we wish you every success in your future careers.
    • Report Post
  • Gee
    • Bobby1994 wrote:
      Jul 19th, 2017 8:30 pm
      This was their internal email:
      You work for NCIX?
    • Report Post
    • Gee wrote:
      Jul 19th, 2017 9:12 pm
      You work for NCIX?
      Yeah, but in BC. This email was sent to the everyone in the company though, not just in ON.
    • Report Post
  • Gee
    • qwertywerty wrote:
      Jul 19th, 2017 6:53 pm
      But so many things don't have free shipping on newegg.
      I never understood this arguement. I see everyone saying that shipping kills the deal. For me I consider this

      If I get into my car, spend 30 minutes to drive to a store to pick up an order. The time and gas I pay is more than the cost of shipping

      If you don't value your time and you think gas is cheap, then your can go pick up at the store. I'm fine with paying a few dollars to have it shipped to my door.
    • Report Post
    • I've been shopping with NCIX for 15 years, but in the last year have had a lot of issues. Order parts that are in stock, yet have to be delivered from a 3rd party supplier, took weeks to ship. Customer support is non-existent as their call in line went no where, just leave a voicemail. Online chat person was good, but apparently they are the one and only person staffed to handle online chat requests! Happened on my last 2 orders, seems like they are cutting costs from every corner. Not a good sign, would shop elsewhere when there is a chance.
    • Report Post
    • Wow, that sucks. To be honest, I haven't really shopped there that much. I think the last thing I bought from them was like a dual channel memory kit.
      I usually go to Canada Computers here in Mississauga first as they seem to have a bigger selection of components and I can just browse around to kill some time and check out the latest stuff.

      I'm curious to see who takes their place in the plaza at Mavis and Eglinton.
    • Report Post
    • They mention financial impact but I wonder how much their staff got paid. I know some of their staff were driving a decked out stanced M3 and GTR. (I knew it because the cars were at the FMP location and the warehouse)

      It's true their service really slipped in the last two or so years. I used to buy from them exclusively even if they were slightly more expensive because they had better service than CC but then in the last couple years they had shipping delays, days would go by before you could pick up an instock item, no phone support, Long waits on the online chat.
    • Report Post
    • Bobby1994 wrote:
      Jul 19th, 2017 9:19 pm
      Yeah, but in BC. This email was sent to the everyone in the company though, not just in ON.
      how long ago did the NCIX marketing girl leave the company? Havent seen her in ads or online for quite a while.
    • Report Post
    • aqnd wrote:
      Jul 19th, 2017 5:19 pm
      They're struggling.
      ...
      And yes, their website (core functionality) has not changed one bit since I first shopped with them 13ish years ago. They wrap a new graphic and border or whatnot, but the core functions have not changed. You can't even cancel an order online if it has processed but not yet shipped. (not even "cancel, but know that we can't guarantee the cancel message will make it through before shipment", just no option to cancel at all)
      No kidding they are struggling, they stopped sending me the weekly sale emails in the past year, tried to sign back up and they still don't show up.

      Like the others used the store as a pickup option, it normally didn't have the item that I'd want in stock, so it would always be an order and pickup - no point in browsing the store as not much was actually on hand.

      Too bad, they used to be my first stop, they are turning into an also ran now.
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