American computer retailer just can’t compete
Last modified on Monday, 10 December 2007 14:15
CompUSA, which used to be one of the leading computer retailers in the U.S., has announced that the end is near for its retail operations after this holiday season. After closing 126 stores last February at the direction of Carlos Slim, who hoped to turn the troubled computer retailer around, it has been announced that the remaining stores have been transferred to the Gordon Brother Group to begin what is termed as “…an orderly and expedited wind-down and asset sale…” in order to satisfy creditors.
According to sources, Slim’s team tried to pitch the Dallas-based retailer to such companies as Circuit City, Micro Electronic (MicroCenter), Systemax and several others. Companies were offered not only the ability to purchase remaining retail operations but also had the chance to acquire its other business lines, such as the CompUSA.com e-tail Web site, CompUSA TechPro, and CompUSA’s technical services division.
CompUSA will start the process of discounting remaining items at retail units that are still open during this holiday season. This could lead to some good deals at the retailer on items that are still in stock. CompUSA has received several large infusions of cash during their attempts to revive the retail stores, but increased competition from stores such as Wal-Mart, Circuit City, Best Buy and others put the squeeze on CompUSA to the point where it has apparently become impossible for the stores to restructure in such a way as to be profitable. The loss of CompUSA marks another sad saga in a long list of computer stores that have been closed over the last couple of years.
Computer retailers have been forced to expand business lines to try to remain profitable, but it continues to remain quite a challenge due to deep discounters on the Internet, mail order systems producers, and electronics retailers dabbling in part-time computer sales. This is even more difficult for small independent computer retailers who face all of these challenges, but survive primarily from professional service offerings.