UPDATED: October 6, 2014, at 10:40 p.m.
Harvard Tech Hub, the computer and repair service store on the lower level of the Science Center, is set to close Oct. 17, with online sales closing Oct. 28, as Harvard University Information Technology phases out its Technology Products and Services branch.
University Chief Information Officer Anne Margulies detailed the decision to employees in an email last Wednesday and also spoke to TPS employees in person. In the email shared with The Crimson by a recipient, Margulies pointed to the impact that a changing computer sales market has had upon TPS as the motivating factor behind the decision.
“The computer sales marketplace has shifted dramatically in recent years, and we are no longer able to cover the expenses associated with operating our own physical and online stores,” Margulies wrote.
Despite what she said she saw as tireless efforts on the part of the staff to increase sales and broaden services, Margulies wrote that TPS sales and repair locations will close by Oct. 31 and the employees affected will be provided a “full range of Harvard’s transitional services, including individual support and job search assistance.”
HUIT spokesperson Kevin Donovan said that the closing of TPS impacts 18 employees, none of whom are students. Donovan also said that the 25-year-old division had been operating at a loss since the 2010 fiscal year.
“Clearly the marketplace for purchasing computer and other devices has changed dramatically in recent years, given that there were many places for people to purchase devices online and in stores other than the Tech Hub and given the fact that discounts that were previously only available on campus were being offered off campus,” Donnovan said.
Donnovan added that discussions are still in the works about providing students access to hardware and software, and that repair services will now be at the discretion of each of the University’s schools and other units.
The Tech Hub will continue to accept returns until Oct. 30 and does not plan to restock items once they run out.
In addition to selling computers and accessories, TPS was partnered with Computer Loft and Tech Computers Inc., both repair companies, to provide warranties and repair services. The Tech Hub also offered loaned computers and adapters to students, faculty, and staff who sent off a product for repair.
—Staff writer Theodore R. Delwiche can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @trdelwic.
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