2012-08-08 / Marketplace
Computer Country opens in downtown Lapeer
LAPEER — Buying a new computer can be a daunting task. Hard drive or flash storage, how many gigabytes of memory, what type of processor, what brand and which operating system are just a few of the questions a computer buyer will need to ask himself. For more than 15 years, Sherril and Michael Hengy have been making the decision-making process easier for computer buyers in Frankenmuth, and they hope to do the same in Lapeer.
At the new Computer Country location in downtown Lapeer, the Hengys are eager to offer their services to Lapeer County customers. The store, which opened at the end of June, offers computer sales, custom-built computers, internet service, web design, network design, free lifetime tech support and more, just like their Frankenmuth location.
The Hengys emphasized that also like their Frankenmuth location, they plan to keep the Lapeer Computer Country open for years to come. After moving to Arcadia Township three years ago, the Hengy’s neighbors and new friends were soon asking for their help with computer problems. Realizing there was a need in the area for a reputable computer repair and sales business, the Hengys decided to open a new store close to home. “We just believe in doing everything right. We’re here for the long term,” said Michael. “We believe people that support us, we support them. It’s a two-way street.”
At Computer Country, the Hengys and their two employees try to help their customers in a non-technical way. Rather than talking “tech-speak” to a computer-illiterate customer, said Sherril, Computer Country employees use everyday language to help their customers find the right computer. “Our whole idea is people need to be happy with our computers,” said Michael.
The Hengys said they would rather see their customers with the machine they actually need than with the most expensive on the market. “We personalize all of our sales,” said Michael. “We find out what the people are going to be doing with their computer” and give them a computer that will fit their needs. “We’re honest and tell people how it is,” said Sherril.
In the 2,000-square-foot showroom of Computer Country, customers can browse laptop and desktop computers, keyboards and mouses, software, cables and other computer essentials, as well as take a look at the repair area.
When Computer Country first opened in Frankenmuth, its showroom, which had originally been the floor-space of a country and craft store that Sherril owned, was only 500 square feet. The store kept expanding, however, and soon had to move to a 1,000 square foot and then a 2,000-squarefoot location. At each move, the Hengys used a two-wheel dolly, because they never moved more than a block away from the original location.
The Hengys needed more than a two-wheel dolly to move into the Lapeer location, but they have been happy with the expansion and their reception in Lapeer. “This is our town,” said Michael. “We’ve had such a positive experience with the people of this town... We believe in supporting our community.” While the Hengys are working in Lapeer, one of their three children, Stephanie, 29, is serving as general manager of the Frankenmuth store.
While the Hengys did not open their own computer store until a little over 15 years ago, Michael’s computer expertise goes back to the 1970s, when personal computers were almost unheard of. Mike went to school and applied his new skills to servicing televisions and other electronics. As computers became more popular and readily available, Michael began servicing computers and now heads up the computer repair at his store.
Most repairs at Computer Country are turned around in two to three days, according to the Hengys. The store has many stock parts and has access to quick shipments from a parts supplier. For repairs that require more time, Computer Country has free loaner laptops for their customers to take home. While they pride themselves on their already quick service, the Hengys try to make even faster repairs for college students and active military — fixing the computer the same day when possible. They also offer a 50 percent discount on labor costs for active military. “They’re (military) very important, and we do take care of them,” said Michael, who is an ex-Marine and disabled veteran.
Look for Computer Country’s grand opening in September. The Hengys plan on having prize giveaways, and refreshments will be provided.
For more information about Lapeer Computer Country, call 810-664-2667. Visit the store’s new location at 411 W. Nepessing St. to sign up for a drawing on August 15 for a new red Acer laptop. Computer Country is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturday.
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