After less than four months as a visible presence on the Southern California computer scene, Detroit-based Inca Computer Co. has pulled the plug on its Southland operation, putting more than 120 people out of work.
The shuttered stores--in Burbank, Northridge, Santa Clarita, Montclair and Costa Mesa--were closed Oct. 12 after the chain ran into major funding problems, company executives said.
Entrepreneur Waad Nadhir, who launched the small retail chain in the fall of 1997 with an innovative, custom-built concept, said that in order to justify marketing costs in the region, the chain needed to add at least eight stores. But within the last few weeks, he found the money for that plan had dried up.
"The capital markets turned on us very quickly," Nadhir said. "And suddenly our access to capital went with it."
Earlier this year, Nadhir celebrated when Inca was named independent retailer of the year by trade publication Computer Retail Week.
With its Southland pullout, and closing of a Chicago-area store, the chain returns to its roots in Michigan, where it will retain four stores.