PowerMax in Magellan St, evacuate stock during the Lismore Flood 2017.
PowerMax in Magellan St, evacuate stock during the Lismore Flood 2017.

Flood ‘walk in the park’ next to coronavirus for tech shop

POWERMAX Computers in Lismore is celebrating its thirteenth year this April, but celebrations are muted as it temporarily shuts its doors due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

PowerMax Computers director Alex Clarke said the business had grown massively in size after opening in the Lismore CBD on April 1, 2007 following trading at home for the previous ten years.

He said they had seen a 300-400 per cent increase in trade and service work with an increase in revenue of 30-40 per cent each year as more customers increased their uptake of Apple products.

"But the biggest change was when we became an Apple Authorised Service Provider," Mr Clarke said.

"We are the sole Authorised Service Provider from Coffs to Robina."

The store has also faced its fair share of challenges including the 2017 flood, but COVID-19 poses the biggest challenge so far.

"The flood was relatively a walk in the park with the water at 1.5 metres through the shop," he said.

"It took ten days to rebuild and replace infrastructure, we didn't lose any stock, we didn't lose any repair jobs, and we executed on our flood plan.

"We knew eventually it would flood, and we had everything in place, and got the shop evacuated in three and half hours.

"The flood was relatively straight forward because it had a start and end."

"As far as the coronavirus goes the real thing is the uncertainty.

"We don't know how long this will last.

"And obviously everything is going to be pretty abnormal, or maybe this is the new normal?"

Mr Clarke said while it was a difficult decision to shut temporarily, the safety of staff and customers was paramount.

He said the goal was to open backup in two to three months.

"Our top concern is the health and priority of our staff, and with all the uncertainty of the virus and how it spreads we made the call."