PC Telemart Inc., the Fairfax company that aspired to be a major distributor of personal computer software, announced yesterday that it has suspended operations and will begin liquidating its assets.
A company spokesman said that only a "two-man skeleton accounting crew" was left at the company.
In a statement, PC Telemart President Howard I. Morrison said the company's cash position "hampered severely any attempts to continue operations for any extended period of time."
He indicated that efforts to find a buyer or merger partner for the company had been unsuccessful. A planned merger with a Massachusetts-based software company fell through earlier this year.
Morrison also said he was resigning from the company.
PC Telemart had developed an extensive computer software library and catalogues of personal computer software as assets in its attempt to become a software source for businesses.
In its most ambitious effort, the company installed several computer software "kiosks" in local bookstores last fall to let consumers browse through software in much the same way they browse through books. Consumers were supposed to try out programs on the computer built into the kiosk, then order the software through the bookstore.
PC Telemart planned to build a national networks of these kiosks and announced a deal with Radio Shack to use the system.
The kiosks, however, didn't work. The effort became a tremendous drain on the company's financial resources. In July, the company sold the rights to its publishing division to R. R. Bowker, Xerox Corp.'s publishing arm, for about $500,000.
PC Telemart went public at $5 a share in June 1983, during the height of the bull initial public offering market. When trading in the company's stock was halted yesterday, shares reportedly were selling for less than 50 cents.
The company also faces a $2.5 million lawsuit filed in a New York federal court by investors who contend PC Telemart intentionally misrepresented its value to them.