ELECTRICAL goods retailer Fortress aims to tap into Hong Kong's growing fascination with hi-tech this Christmas through its range of PCs. While the chain of 41 stores has been known for its wide range of home appliances, this will be the first Christmas Fortress has stocked PCs. Computers were no longer for 'techno buffs only' but had become an important home appliance for many Hong Kong families, said John Willimott, Fortress' marketing director. 'Fortress is in the business of home appliances,' he said. 'We saw that we had to start providing a personal computer range.' The company began stocking computers in July. 'We see personal computers as a relatively easy-to-use home electrical product.' Mr Willimott said he had high hopes that personal computers would be a big seller among families who wanted to treat themselves to a 'big-ticket item' for Christmas. Top of Fortress' computer range is the Acer Acros video multi-media personal computer, selling for $18,990. The system features a Pentium 100 MHz processor, a 850 megabite hard drive and video display capability. It comes with nine CDs, including Microsoft Works and ENCARTA '96, and two video CDs. Less expensive Acer Acros computers, without the video capability, sell from $13,500. For buyers searching for smaller gifts, Fortress has a variety of goods selling between $99 and $399. In the $99 category, Mr Willimott suggests a Crown hair dryer ($99), Dialtron compact telephone ($99) and Ease Star combination alarm, clock and calculator. In the $199 range are Mani electronic organisers capable of storing 100 addresses and telephone numbers ($149), a portable Ventura radio and cassette player and Black & Decker clothes irons ($199). In the $299 bracket, shoppers can choose from Loyola juicers ($269), Binatone telephones with AM/FM radio and liquid crystal display clock ($238) and Imarflex toaster ovens ($248). Fortress is offering specials in the $399 category with National rice cookers for $386 (suggested price $409) and Kodak instant cameras for $348 (suggested price $399). The electric neck massager, called Microfingers, sells for $339 (from $399) and the Melitta coffee machine with filter bags and coffee $329 (from $459). These are good ideas for stressed-out friends. Mr Willimott said electric shavers were a popular Christmas gift, with men's Philips shavers ranging from $485 for battery-operated models to $649 for rechargeable models. A smaller Braun shaver, ideal for travelling, sells for $318, down from $399. Women's shavers range from $298 to $540. Mr Willimott said the period before Christmas until Lunar New Year was the busiest retailing time of the year. Apart from gift buying, many people used work bonuses to upgrade personal and family electrical appliances. On the music sound front, Sony Diskman systems continue to dominate the market. Models with 10-second memories (called ESP) are selling for $2,530, while non-memory models cost $870. Mini-CD players, also manufactured by Sony, are retailing for between $2,830 and $3,880. On a grander scale, the Sony combination CD, CD video and laser disc system, released earlier this year, is selling for $5,880. A Pioneer 800-watt, radio, tape and CD stereo system, complete with a karaoke input function, is retailing for $7,380. A similar Kenwood model is priced at $5,978.