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CompUSA takes Another Shot at Retail

After rising from the ashes of bankruptcy, CompUSA is taking another shot at brick-and-mortar retail.

One of the worst parts of a recession is the closure of retail chains across the country. CompUSA, Tweeter and Circuit City went the way of the Dodo, and now Blockbuster might be joining the bankruptcy club. However, for those who still enjoy buying media and electronics in a store and not on the Internet, CompUSA is coming back to a strip mall near you. 

Back in late 2007, CompUSA went into bankruptcy and was sold to Systemax, the same company who owns TigerDirect. With new management at the helm and a new business strategy, the heralded retail chain is back in the swing of things. According to an interview with Wired, Systemax executive and TigerDirect Founder Gilbert Fiorentino claims that the new CompUSA is at the forefront of a new way of doing business. "We have invented this idea of retail 2.0," said Fiorentino. "Every screen in every CompUSA store is now connected to the internet and making buying a richer experience for customers. We are using tech to change the retail experience for the customer and giving them access to all the information on the internet anytime they want during the buying process." Now, if you decide to shop at CompUSA for that new HDTV or laptop, an unfettered Internet connection will help you find the best prices. No Best Buy tricks and no hassles.

While Systemax has maintained a CompUSA retail website for some time now, the store chain is a new aspect for the revamped company. According to the store locator, CompUSA currently has 24 locations in Florida, Illinois, Texas, North Carolina, and Puerto Rico, and soon that number will grow to 30. The new chain is also retooling the physical aspects of the store, so expect remodeled stores as well as better in-store lighting. As for prices, Fiorentino says the in-store prices at CompUSA will be the same as the prices you would find on TigerDirect, because the store chain and website now share the same inventory.

With Circuit City now out of the picture, there is a massive vacuum in the electronics retail sector, with Wal-Mart and Best Buy being the only true nationwide chains left. Hopefully, Systemax and CompUSA can benefit from the lack of competition and close the gap once filled with so many different stores. As long as CompUSA keeps a healthy supply of computer components and peripherals, there should be no issue with keeping the enthusiast crowd happy.

  • fancarolina
    Why not change the name to the TigerDirect Store, cash in on some brand regonition?
    Reply
  • tayb
    It doesn't matter about "Retail Experience 2.0" if the prices aren't competitive. I really don't think having the ability to browse the web on a display laptop is going to convince too many people to buy their if it can be found cheaper elsewhere.
    Reply
  • LATTEH
    if one opens up by me i will go and apply there so it doesn't get assholes
    Reply
  • dconnors
    taybIt doesn't matter about "Retail Experience 2.0" if the prices aren't competitive. I really don't think having the ability to browse the web on a display laptop is going to convince too many people to buy their if it can be found cheaper elsewhere.
    According to the original interview, the prices @ the physical retail stores will be identical to the prices available on TigerDirect's website. If Systemax stays true to this, the prices we see in the new stores should be on par with other e-tailers like NewEgg and ZZF.

    -Devin
    Reply
  • I use to work for both Compusas. The one prior to the closesure was cool. The staff was excellent, everyone was upbeat. As much as I hated the morning sunday meetings, the staff were like hanging with your bestfriends. All in all the old Compusa was fun to work for.

    But after being there when they were bought from System max in 2008, it all went to hell. The management was rude, and inexperienced. Most of the staff who were there with me from the old compusa all either quit or got fired, not because of their behavior but because HR doesnt listen to employee complaints. Senority means nothing. I seen people who worked for compusa for over 5+ years, and being let go like it was nothing. When they let go of me over some bs, I was so happy to leave that place. All the management in the South florida area changed. Hell the district manager quit. I was the guy who everyone in the store would come to if they had a question, and thankfully I was able to answer them.

    The only reason I still shop there is because their prices blow the typical BB, Target, Wal-mart, prices in the water. The prices mimic what Newegg, amazon, and zipzoomfly sells their items for. I just bought a 42" plasma panny from Compusa two months ago. BB had that same tv for $450 more then what Tiger/Compusa was selling. I was able to walk in the store and buy it without delivery charges.
    Reply
  • hotroderx
    We have a compusa near us and the pricing is extremely good. I have bought parts from them because its cheaper then newegg.com in some cases a special since newegg raised there shipping rates. Not to mention they sell OEM items which is NICE why pay retail for a hard drive or floppy cable or usb cable seriously? They also offer computer parts I mean like parts parts as in built a full PC for a client who needed it asap (mission critical system went down needed it up in less then 24hrs) No way newegg or bestbuy could have done that and mom and pop shops would have cost a mini fortune.
    Reply
  • tayb
    dconnorsAccording to the original interview, the prices @ the physical retail stores will be identical to the prices available on TigerDirect's website. If Systemax stays true to this, the prices we see in the new stores should be on par with other e-tailers like NewEgg and ZZF.-Devin
    I don't see how that is possible without operating with a much smaller margin or even a loss. You have to consider the costs of building the stores, powering them, the losses they took on display units, shipping the items to the store, paying the employees, etc. Maybe they are raking in hoards of money from TigerDirect and can afford to make less money to get the name back out there but I just don't see how it is possible. I know that they can be competitive but matching newegg and TigerDirect online prices? That would be a sight to see.
    Reply
  • mamw93
    They are in odd places. They jumped from Florida to North Carolina and skipped Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina. Weird... but it could mean that they will fill the gap at some point. I would love to have one in my area, (Montgomery, Alabama) so I didn't have to order for those weird parts that only they sell.
    Reply
  • michaelahess
    fancarolinaWhy not change the name to the TigerDirect Store, cash in on some brand regonition?

    Because anyone who knows on-line retailers will know not to buy anything associated with Tiger Direct, course they wouldn't buy anything at CompuUSA either :)

    TigerDirect is the Best Buy of eTailers.
    Reply
  • jivdis1x
    The new compusa is great. Prices are very close to newegg. When newegg charge shipping it would be almost identical. The plus side to Compusa, no need to waiting for shipment. No RMA for returns.
    Reply