Apple reseller Next Byte to close following revenue decline


news Vita Group has announced it will close the remaining eight stores of its subsidiary Next Byte – an Apple product reseller – over three months starting from January 2016.

In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, Vita said the precise timing of the closures will be dependent on the circumstances of individual stores.

The group added that it will continue to provide products and services to current Next Byte business customers via its telecommunications SMB and enterprise channels.

Vita said that, where possible, Next Byte team members will be redeployed to other areas in the group. If suitable roles can’t be found, retrenchments with full entitlements will be paid.

“The welfare of our team members and customers is our most important concern and we are working to manage the impact of this decision as responsibly and respectfully as possible,” said Vita Group CEO, Maxine Horne.

Vita Group expects the Next Byte closure to incur one-off charges in the half of about $3.2 million – the estimates value of its subsidiary’s future lease obligations, inventory write-downs and redundancies. A further $1.1 million in fixed asset charges will be taken up for primarily write-down on fixtures and fittings.

However, Vita expects ongoing benefits from the closure to amount to around $1.6m annually, reflecting support centre savings and the migration of Next Byte business to other channels.

According to the most recent annual report, Next Byte experienced a 20% decline in revenue in the last financial year. The group said this was due to fewer stores and “softness” in older format stores. On a like-for-like basis, revenues were down 7%, however EBITDA increased 11%.

Next Byte was founded in 1995 and is based in Glenunga. It was once Australia’s largest specialist retailer of Apple products and services.

Image credit: 惟①刻¾, Creative Commons


  1. Wow, sad to hear this, I worked for founders Tim Kleeman and Adam Steinhardt back in the early days, (95/96) when there was only the 1 store in Adelaide and we had to buy stock from another reseller, as a tech/Salesman/whatever needed doing.

    Tim in particular was a fantastic guy who I learnt a lot from (I don’t think I really got along with Adam that well which contributed to my exit) and was a really honest and ethical businessman.

    Sad to NextByte go…

    interestingly, both founders started NextByte after the collapse of chain Simply Mac….

      • Not really everyone goes to the apple store or Telstra shop

        All the old fonezone were bought by Vita Group. Some become Next Byte and others became telstra stores

  2. Apple doesn’t give a shit about their resellers, more than happy to give their business to newly opened local JB Hifis and now their own stores and such.

    • if you think about it, the entire focus has shifted in the last 5+ years from Mac’s to iPads/iPhones. The resellers where there to sell and support Mac’s which are now a tiny proportion of Apple’s product line, rather than the Headline act and are therefore now pretty close to redundant.

  3. “It was once Australia’s largest specialist retailer of Apple products and services.”
    I believe that happened after Next Byte jumped from the Buzzle merger in 2000 and all the other resellers hit the wall.

    Reseller takes Next Byte of Apple (ARN, May 2001)

    I suppose this goes to show that, being an Apple reseller is no longer the place to be, if it every was.

  4. Very sad to see these guys and girls go. I went to uni in Adelaide for a few years, and went to their NextByte branch in Rundle Mall constantly. They were always friendly and professional. When I moved back to Sydney, I went to their branch near Wynyard right until they closed.

    As much as I love Apple products, their official retail stores seem cold and impersonal by comparison.

  5. I think it really reflects the shift in computer retailing in general, back when personal computers 1st became affordable and useful in the late 70’s and 80’s, you’d go to a specialist computer retailer. This was because computers weren’t generally easy to use and you needed support, hardware upgrades weren’t generally user friendly for most ppl, and you’d pop by frequently to see what the latest upgrades looked like in the flesh that you’d read about in magazines (remember those?) etc etc.

    There used to be loads of authorised retailers for companies like Commodore, Atari, Apple etc and then there was the authorised service centers etc etc. Now if your computer dies you either get it replaced under warranty or throw it in the bin, back then you could actually repair them!

    It’s just a different world now and specialist computer retailers are simply redundant. Computers are commodity items that you buy online or from box shippers like JBHiFi or Harvey Norman.

    sad but true …

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