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.