CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
SuperGeeks has joined Hawaiian Telcom at its uptown Pearlridge Center location. Pictured is James Kerr, owner and "chief geek," of SuperGeeks.
HawTel teams up with a geek
The telephone company shares its Pearlridge space with SuperGeeks
Technologically-challenged customers now will be able to receive help with their computers at their local phone company.
Hawaiian Telcom and SuperGeeks have formed an alliance to add value to their services in an attempt to gain market share in an increasingly competitive business environment.
SuperGeeks has set up shop at Hawaiian Telcom's Pearlridge Center location to aid customers in computer repair and maintenance as part of a six-month pilot project, which began June 19. The arrangement could become permanent and allow SuperGeeks to expand to Hawaiian Telcom's other retail locations depending on customer demand. Hawaiian Telcom has a total of eight retail stores.
While there is no financial agreement between the companies, the store-within-a-store concept is beneficial to both parties, who share the same customer base, said James Kerr, owner and "chief geek" of SuperGeeks, which has storefronts in Moiliili, Kapolei and Punchbowl.
"We're taking advantage now when the economy is slowing to move forward, strengthen our operations and look for new opportunity," he said. "This one offers a lot of great synergy."
The telecommunications company said the strategic move will help its broadband clients gain optimal computer performance, translating to satisfied customers.
"In this economy, it's a smart move to partner with companies that can add value," said Ann Nishida, spokeswoman for Hawaiian Telcom, which slipped back into the red last quarter despite gaining high-speed Internet clients.
Besides computer repair, the SuperGeeks counter will offer a "Geeky Gadget Gallery" showcasing a variety of innovative devices customers can play with before buying, including robotics and invisible keyboards.
In addition, the company will offer free computer seminars once a month and a Guru Bar, where clients receive 15 minutes of free consultation every Saturday.
Hawaiian Telcom's retail store at Pearlridge is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The SuperGeeks counter will be open during store hours, except Sundays and Mondays.