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CompUSA Closing More Than 50 Percent of Stores

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the trouble-in-paradise dept.

Businesses 423

Zurbrick writes to tell us that CompUSA hs announced that they are closing the doors on over half their stores over the next three months. "CompUSA said in a statement it would close 126 of its stores and would receive a $440 million cash capital infusion, but it was not specific as to the source of the cash. The company also said it would cut costs and restructure. The company operates 225 stores, which its Web site says are located in the United States and Puerto Rico. "

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It's about time... and only the beginning. (5, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183146)

Disclosure: I worked for CompUSA about 18 years ago during a court-mandated stint forcing me to have a "real" job. It was a 6 month stint at which time I was the top performing sales person month after month, even though I was only 16. I learned a lot of corporate retail problems, which continue to this day.

I have 2 CompUSAs in my area, close to clients that my company still maintains. They're both depressing -- too many workers, but no one with knowledge. I hear a lot of lies, get pushed on extended warranties that don't work, and have to deal with waiting and waiting when I need to find something that their website shows as in-stock. The company is inept because the company is trying to compete in the wrong market.

I honestly see a lot of retail collapsing because the time is getting close that the manufacturers can sell products cheaper, and at a higher profit for themselves, directly or through direct-partners. I can't imagine a Luddite like my father trying to buy something at CompUSA when the typical sales person there is no different than Best Buy's brilliant teen workers. But that's the end problem: CompUSA is still trying to be a consumer store rather than business-oriented.

CompUSA has a much wider inventory than Best Buy or Circuit City, but they obviously can't compete with those power houses who have more stores and also have a lot of value-added items they can sell to make up for what they don't make on popular laptops and LCD monitors. Yet the typical business that I deal with still prefers solid advice over bottom-line price. Consumers want it cheap, and they tend not to have long-term relationships with a particular sales person or a store. CompUSA dropped the ball when they started to lose to CDW and MacWarehouse -- the corporate clients of mine haven't used CompUSA in years because of their change from business-focused to consumer-oriented and cheap.

Even on price CompUSA doesn't compete -- often times when I need something I am shocked at the prices. Sure, we're all familiar with the $6-USB-cable-that-sells-for-$39, but even basics such as a stand IEC power cord are overpriced. Their selection is decent, but they are trying to compete in a market that they can not penetrate, especially with Amazon and eBay destroying the price competitiveness of the big box PC store.

This is a good thing for CompUSA, but I don't see them lasting. Every CompUSA near me has both Best Buy and Circuit City nearby, and I admit that I've had more intelligent sales staff at the big box store than at CompUSA. If they want to save their business, they have to focus on local businesses rather than trying to be the answer man for people who want cheap prices and sales. Without the business customer (who tends to accept a higher cost in exchange for GOOD advice and support), their business is heading to the toilet.

Count yourself lucky you have a retail store. (4, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183248)

Here in the UK, there is 1 (yes one) company which pretty much has a stranglehold on about 90% of the bricks & mortar large computer stores. While smaller ones exist, I'm only talking about the large places with a reasonable selection that tend to be located in out of town industrial areas, since that's the fairest comparison with CompUSA and BestBuy.

It's the closest thing we have to Best Buy or CompUSA.

It's called PC World, and it's run by a company called the Dixons Stores Group.

Let's just say: £80 network cards (that was apparently the cheapest), £20 USB cables (again, the cheapest), £1,200 PCs. They stock cheaper ones but I've never met anyone who ever bought one - I suspect those who are savvy enough don't go there in the first place, and those who aren't are generally told "You want to send email? Well, in that case you'll need this...". And extended warranties which cost 70% of the value of the PC, yet are serviced by spotty 16 year olds who wouldn't know a PC if it dropped on their head.

Re:Count yourself lucky you have a retail store. (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183738)

£80 network cards (that was apparently the cheapest)
Much as I dislike some of PC World's ludicruously inflated prices (£10- approx USD $20- for a 2m Ethernet cable), I was able to pick up a no-name white-box network card there for £6 about a year ago.

OTOH, I didn't ask their staff for advice on which card I should buy (^_^)

Re:Count yourself lucky you have a retail store. (5, Informative)

aslate (675607) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183860)

Okay, PC World is not a lovely company that's nice and whatever, but i'd buy from them any day over Dell. I've been working in a store for 1 and a half years (Student job, nice pay for retail) and i know where they're dodgy and where they're not. Yes, you can get a lot of stuff really cheap online, but like Amazon, they don't have the overhead of real stores. The PC margin is small, often no more than 10% which may not even cover the time paid to the guy helping you, the profit does come from stuff like cables, inks and peripherals, but that's how the PC market has worked and still works.

Let's just say: £80 network cards (that was apparently the cheapest)
I've been selling £7 NICs for ages, most expensive i remember was a Gigabit card that cost about £20.

£20 USB cables (again, the cheapest)
Nope, cheapest is £10, although the standard 2.1 metre cable is £14.99. I agree, that's expensive but you can just go to Maplin and buy them there, i often tell people about that. Cables are the place where you get ripped off most, with network cables costing £9.99 for 1 metre and most people can spend well over £20 on a long cable.

£1,200 PCs. They stock cheaper ones but I've never met anyone who ever bought one
You what? We only have 1 PC at the moment going for £1,200 and it's a beast by Packard Bell, it's trying to be like a custom-PC with a side window and lockable front and case. Frankly, 90% of the PCs i've sold are under £600 with quite a lot of people going away happy with a £300-£400 PC.

And extended warranties which cost 70% of the value of the PC, yet are serviced by spotty 16 year olds who wouldn't know a PC if it dropped on their head.
Extended warranties are PAYG and about £8/month, now i know that's not cheap but it does cover anything that goes wrong with the thing. With that your PC gets taken away and repaired by proper techies, you don't get the guys that work in the store servicing PCs under the warranty.

I'm a computing student at Imperial College London, i got my friend hired who's also a computing student, his cousin works there (again into PCs), and the tech guys actually know what they're talking about. Now our store might be a wonderful exception to the norm, but come in when we're on shift and you won't get bullshitting from us.

Re:Count yourself lucky you have a retail store. (5, Funny)

kd5ujz (640580) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183944)

In the US, we call that store Radio Shack. You have questions? We have blank stares!

Re:It's about time... and only the beginning. (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183258)

My first 32-bit PC was a Compudyne; they actually offered (for the time) VERY nice cases which made serviceability easy, they used decent motherboards - not workstation quality but a hell of a lot better than the crud Dell uses today, and the price, for the time, was very reasonable. Sure, Packaged Hell, er, Packard Bell was cheaper, but they were the Dell of their day.

Re:It's about time... and only the beginning. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183530)

I luv my Ex Pee Pee Cee, too.

Re:It's about time... and only the beginning. (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183264)

> CompUSA has a much wider inventory than Best Buy

Arooo? Best Buy sells Computers, CDs, TVs, and major appliances. CompUSA sells computer gear, and a smattering of TVs and PVRs. If anything, CompUSA's inventory goes deeper, but certainly not wider. And it's NewEgg and the like that are cutting their legs off by offering as base price what CompUSA makes you do the rebate dance for.

Best Buy also seems to put more into store appearance -- the CompUSA in San Francisco is a freaking dungeon, while the Best Buy is clean and bright with super wide isles. 'course it's also three times bigger and not in a 100 year old building, but even so there's some psychographic that BB is getting right that CUSA isn't. Probably the blue and yellow, it's brighter than the red. Or maybe it's that I can't remember the last time I actually saw a CompUSA television advert.

Re:It's about time... and only the beginning. (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183316)

Arooo? Best Buy sells Computers, CDs, TVs, and major appliances. CompUSA sells computer gear, and a smattering of TVs and PVRs. If anything, CompUSA's inventory goes deeper, but certainly not wider.

Good catch, bad wording on my part. I intended to mean wider inventory of IT/PC based products :)

Thanks for the catch and clarification.

Re:It's about time... and only the beginning. (1)

Da_Biz (267075) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183868)

I intended to mean wider inventory of IT/PC based products ...and that's why I go there. If I'm buying anything from CompUSA, it's because I'm really pressed for time, can't find a comparable item from Circuit Sh*tty or Beast Buy, and don't want to drive to Fry's (depending on traffic in Portland, that trip takes anywhere between 15-45 minutes).

Sure, if I'm ordering lots of stuff, online is a much better option, but there are times when it's roughly the same price to buy locally when shipping is considered. It's also nice to have a place to return things to instead of doing the shipping song-and-dance.

Re:It's about time... and only the beginning. (1)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183584)

I've been in the SF store and I kinda like it because it is dark and close. I've gotten tired of the current crop of designed-by-shopping-psychology-consultants-to-be- annoyingly-bright-and-cheerful-all-stores-must-be- the-same-all-salespeople-must-have-the-same-rictus -grin stores that you find in malls.

It also helps that their selection, although smaller, is a couple of orders of magnitude better than Best Buy. I only go to that CompUsa when I need only one thing and don't feel like driving down to Fry's, but I actually kind of like it. I grew up with stores that were small and not well lighted, so it's sorta like going home...

Not the end of retail -- just economic Darwinism (5, Insightful)

Alfthemack (17146) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183340)

It's just bad management! Fry's is doing relatively well in most of their locations. Best Buy is doing okay. Circuit City is limping along. Shipping costs negate the whole buying direct thing. Who wants to spend $3 on shipping for a $5 cable? Radio Shack is having similar issues. There are way too many non-Slashdot consumers that like their hands held when purchasing computers and other electronics. Yes, computers are electronics with semi-conductors. Wal-Mart and Target carry common USB cables, blank CD's, etc. IKEA carries powerstrips.

15-20 years ago, the big box discounters were putting the smaller mom and pop retailers out of business. Now, the better managed (Wal-Mart, Target, Fry's, OfficeMax, IKEA, BestBuy) big box stores are putting the lesser managed (K-mart, Toys'R'Us, Circuit City, CompUSA) stores out of business. Retail is obviously still strong for even the smaller players. Apple and HP are doing well with consumers via retail. Dell and Gateway? They are both in a small funk right now.

CompUSA would be better off emulating Fry's. K-mart is one retailer that as proven that one can't shrink it's way back into the hearts of consumers. (Note to those in the Bay Area: The Fry's in Austin, TX actually has competent employees!)

Re:Not the end of retail -- just economic Darwinis (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183464)

Who wants to spend $3 on shipping for a $5 cable?

It's better than paying $29.95 for a cable worth $5 at a big box store. Cables seem to be right behind extended warranties and printer ink in the retail cash cow category.

There was a middle ground, and they were it. (4, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183632)

It's better than paying $29.95 for a cable worth $5 at a big box store. Cables seem to be right behind extended warranties and printer ink in the retail cash cow category.

I think the point was that CompUSA was one of the few retail stores that didn't gouge like that. Sure, they weren't as cheap as mail-order, but they didn't try to screw you the same way that Best Buy, Staples, and the rest of them do.

I have a very nice CompUSA down the street from me, and I tend to go there whenever I need something that I either don't want to wait for, or don't want to pay the shipping on. I've gotten some great bargains off of their clearance table over the years, too. I'll really miss them if the store closes.

For me, if I want a cable, going down to CompUSA and paying $8 and having it in my hand immediately is a no-brainer, compared to having to order it online, pay perhaps a dollar or two less when you factor in shipping, and waiting three days, or going to Best Buy, being assaulted by the noise and idiot salesdroids there, and paying $30 for a sub-$1 part.

If they go under, at least I still have a MicroCenter in my area, which is decent, but it's a heck of a drive.

There is a market for a store that's in between the Best Buy big-box stores, and the mail order IT supply houses, so if CompUSA fails, I think something must have been wrong with their management.

How many locations does Fry's have? (1)

porkchop_d_clown (39923) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183610)

I'm curious, I mean, people have talked about them my whole life, but I thought they were a small western-only chain.

Re:How many locations does Fry's have? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183702)

I don't think there are any east of Austin or Dallas. We only got one in the Seattle area a couple of years ago. (Now that CompUSA is closing all of its stores up here, Fry's is the only major computer retailer in the entire county.)

Re:How many locations does Fry's have? (4, Interesting)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183778)

It started out as a small western chain, but it grew. [outpost.com]

Re:Not the end of retail -- just economic Darwinis (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183644)

From what I hear from Radio Shack employees, the bulk of their sales are those cheap cables, and it's going poorly for them as, unless it's Monster branded, they're not making any real money off of it.

Re:Not the end of retail -- just economic Darwinis (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183734)

Shipping costs negate the whole buying direct thing. Who wants to spend $3 on shipping for a $5 cable?
If I'm not in a rush, I'll take that bargain every time. Even assuming the item is just as cheap the store, what are your shipping costs for driving your personal car there (30-40 cents per mile), and the 40 minutes of labor that takes?

Re:Not the end of retail -- just economic Darwinis (1)

MonkeyBoy (4760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183808)

Paying $3 to ship a $5 cable beats the hell out of paying $30 to buy a $5 cable at retail, at least in my book.

Re:Not the end of retail -- just economic Darwinis (1)

japhering (564929) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183926)

(Note to those in the Bay Area: The Fry's in Austin, TX actually has competent employees!)


They try to have competent employees... it just depends on what you are looking for and when....

Re:It's about time... and only the beginning. (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183346)

I admit that I've had more intelligent sales staff at the big box store than at CompUSA.

That statement scares me.

Re:It's about time... and only the beginning. (0, Redundant)

dewke (44893) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183658)

No kidding. None of the sales people at Best Buy know anything, they just run around and ask "can I help you find anything?". I've never been impressed with CompUSA's prices, but at least I know if I need something immediately I can find it there.

Re:It's about time... and only the beginning. (3, Insightful)

Xabraxas (654195) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183956)

I admit that I've had more intelligent sales staff at the big box store than at CompUSA.

That statement scares me.

Believe it or not not all big box sales people are idiots. Some of them are actually computer geeks in college getting their computer science degrees, or programmers that want a part time job. I think the stereotype of the idiot salesmen is a huge over-generalization. In fact I worked retail while I was in college and I often ran into assholes who thought they were so much smarter than me because they had "real" tech jobs, not knowing that I was just paying my way to a computer science degree. I've found that a lot of customers who claimed to be techies were actually not that intelligent at all. So it works both ways. You have some extremely intelligent sales people and some clueless ones. It's just as common in the tech world. Some of my colleagues are on the same intellectual level as the generalized sales people you speak of.

Re:It's about time... and only the beginning. (3, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183394)

It's unfortunate, too, because CompUSA used to be the place for business customers. They had a corporate sales desk (which they no longer have), good in-house service and support (which they no longer), CompUSA-branded in-store built PCs (which they no longer have), and the level of knowledge used to be much, much better.

Then one day CompUSA decided that their main competition wasn't the local computer shops (which are a much better resource for the SOHO buyer) or CDW or MacWarehouse, but Best Buy, Circuit City and OfficeMax. For crying out loud, I shouldn't get more knowledgeable sales staff out of a freaking office supply story than I do out of a store whose main goal is to sell computers and accessories!

I don't think retail will entirely go away: Office Depot and OfficeMax make quite a hefty sum selling routers, network adapters and notebook computers. Especially in the SOHO market, where people like the convenience of walking into a store and walking out with a computer. And in the SMB market, CDW and MacWarehouse will continue to reign supreme. Dell works for the larger corporates who have in-house IT, and while some SOHO and SMB people get their PCs from Dell, many are finding Dell support to be too poor to be useful. Many SOHO and SMB folks are turning to outside services to handle IT issues, and Geek Squad, 1-800-905-GEEK and other companies are making money hand-over-fist selling services to them.

Is it a bedtime office-supply story? (5, Funny)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183674)

office supply story

Once upon a time, there was a brave little stapler, who was running low on staples...

Re:It's about time... and only the beginning. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183500)

Do an online price comparison, compusa.com makes bestbuy.com look like a thrift shop.

Re:It's about time... and only the beginning. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183560)

I used a CompUSA once because the Fry's was 20 miles away. In LA, the 405 traffic is horrible and going 20 miles can take 2 hours or more. (And return trip.) The CompUSA was only about 3 miles from my location. (I was visiting LA for SCALE.)

Re:It's about time... and only the beginning. (1)

dr00g911 (531736) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183574)

One thing I've noticed at CompUSA and all the big box stores lately:

There used to be a section in all of the stores with "cheap" cables... the equivalent of radio shack generics.

Now, it's a wall of Belkin Premium and Monster, and the sub $140 HDMI cable (or sub $40 firewire, etc) is nowhere to be found. Even Radio Shack is starting to jump on the bandwagon. I mean, I know their house-brand audio & data cables are utter crap, so they're starting to carry midrange Monster stuff and double the price on their house brand stuff to reposition it.

This leaves Target as just about the only retail to even stock reasonably priced (GE Brand, usually) cables & adapters.

I mean, I get it that the big boxes use the big box items as quasi loss leaders, then OMGRAPE the consumer on accessories. However, I won't step foot in one of those stores for day-to-day impulse buys for cables or parts anymore just because the prices are so absurd.

There's something wrong when I can get parts & cables for a fraction of the cost of a big box AFTER paying for priority overnight. And I'm not talking generic $0.25/foot ethernet cables. I'm talking name-brand, quality stuff that retail just doesn't carry anymore because the margins just aren't high enough to offset their loss leaders.

Aside: If you want a laugh sometime, try informing Mr. Sales Drone that a digital signal is a digital signal. The $150 HDMI cable might be assembled better than the $12 one (debatably), but the signal quality is by definition identical. If it works, it works.

Then watch his head explode as he tries to convince you otherwise, while maneuvering you out of earshot of other customers.

Just try pricing a 15' HDMI or component cable some day.

Try pricing any old SATA cable or power supply. Or RAM.

Consumers are (hopefully) wising up to the racket. Hell, I've got my mom ordering off Newegg now.

Re:It's about time... and only the beginning. (2, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183772)

There used to be a section in all of the stores with "cheap" cables... the equivalent of radio shack generics.

That section exists, but it is online only! Talk about frustrating:

14 foot patch cable, pick-up, $34.99 [compusa.com]

14 foot patch cable, delivery-only, $6.00 [compusa.com]

Re:It's about time... and only the beginning. (1)

GregPK (991973) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183582)

Compusa. They have problems with thier corporate setup. They pay close to the bare minimum so they can't hire anyone really worth a damn. The people who run the show are all about short term rather than long term. I've seen this again and again over the last 3 or 4 years. That company is in dire need of a corporate management change. I swear even walmarts management could do better than them. What they really need to do to fix thier problems. A) bring back commissions to employees, or raise the salary caps by 50 percent. B) look at best buy how they do morning meetings with thier people, create an environment where people generally like coming to work and having fun helping customers and making goals. Not to mention pay up to 15 an hour or more for good associates. Even thier magnolia pays some people 80k a year because they are worth every penny for it. Compusa has the products. They just need the people and support to make thier stores good again. Instead of closing stores after a year of no growth take time and figure out why the stores aren't growing. Is it a staffing issue? is it customers? is it the market? C) Merchandising. Focus on it 3rd after people and customers currently it seems to be number 1. D) get rid of the damn crazy audits. People are so focused on those because its the only indicator they seem to get reamed about directly on. They need to focus on the customers. Fry's does well because they pay commissions to key people pay crap to others and have lots of products. Walmart does reasonably well because they pay crap, lots of products but lowest prices. Compusa pays crap, has lots of products and same or higher price than everyone else? See something here?

Re:It's about time... and only the beginning. (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183722)

I honestly see a lot of retail collapsing because the time is getting close that the manufacturers can sell products cheaper, and at a higher profit for themselves, directly or through direct-partners.

Eh, not all across the board. You still need retail if you're not selling a commodity product. A web site only goes so far. There are a LOT of products that still need a lot of support/customer service, etc. But if you are in retail, there needs to be a reason for people to come to you. If you're not offering any service beyond what people can get from a web site, there's no point.

Re:It's about time... and only the beginning. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183732)

Did the court also mandate that you use the word "stint" excessively?

Location Search Already Updated? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183972)

If you search for a store on their webpage the two current locations in the St. Louis area are already gone. I guess if any employees are looking to see if you have a job you can just check online. What a way to find out.

Half of CompUSAs closing? (1, Interesting)

bdr529 (1063398) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183152)

Dumpster Divers [wikihow.com] around the nation weep a bitter tear. So long, old friend!

Re:Half of CompUSAs closing? (1)

bdr529 (1063398) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183412)

Overrated? Come on! Dumpster diving was about all CompUSA was good for any more. An example of their "repairs" consists of replacing "defective" hard drives (virus infection, maybe or too much spyware) and tossing out perfectly good equipment... You wouldn't believe the "new" stuff they'd toss, too. It's unsurprising half their stores are closing.

Re:Half of CompUSAs closing? (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183504)

Ahhhh yes. This brings back memories of half-broken motherboards and laptops with only a bad screens (but very usable everything else). Dumpster diving behind CompUSA was the best things that ever happened to me there....aside from being fired from the Accessories department of course..

Re:Half of CompUSAs closing? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183856)

hmmm, were you throwing nifty things in the dumpster while working in Accessories?

And we're keeping _both_ of ours (2, Informative)

vought (160908) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183168)

I guess that's just Louisiana. We're keeping our Baton Rouge and Metairie locations, but we can't get a Fry's or an Apple Store to save our lives.

I guess that's a good demonstration of the mean intelligence level here. People would rather go into ChumpUSA and be abused by surly salespeople than order something online to save a few bucks.

Re:And we're keeping _both_ of ours (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183236)

I guess that's just Louisiana. We're keeping our Baton Rouge and Metairie locations, but we can't get a Fry's or an Apple Store to save our lives.

I guess that's a good demonstration of the mean intelligence level here. People would rather go into ChumpUSA and be abused by surly salespeople than order something online to save a few bucks.
Or maybe that's all that is available to work in a computer retail store in Louisiana.

Atlanta loses all of its stores. (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183302)

Which was a surprise to me as I always see customers in there.

I cannot say I am surprised that the corporation is having problems, moving into TVs had to be painful and their pricing strategy cannot withstand the big box stores. Now with Best Buy offering Apple products there is less reason for many to visit a Comp USA

So, when does the Radio Shack follow suit?

Re:Atlanta loses all of its stores. (1)

pikakilla (775788) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183446)

Radio Shack has cell phones to keep them afloat for now...

Re:Atlanta loses all of its stores. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183570)

I'd bet that the atlanta CompUSAs lost a lot of business to that newish fry's

kind of surprising that they're all going away though, the one by lenox mall was damn convenient when i didn't want to drive all the way out to fry's...

Re:And we're keeping _both_ of ours (2, Funny)

nickname225 (840560) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183544)

Damn - I was hoping for some close out sales.

Re:And we're keeping _both_ of ours (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183586)

I've been planning a move to the north east but I have to say a big hesitation is not having a local Fires Electronics. The closest would be 1,000 miles away. We've got two in the area now. I rarely go but it's a massive help having them. It's tough ordering every cable and component off the web. When I build a new machine 75% of it I buy off Newegg but the remaining odds and ends I get from Fries. It's mostly that their motherboard selection leans on the side of the consumer and they only stock a few prolevel motherboards. Most of the components are priced pretty well but I can still save a few bucks off the web. I did learn my lesson about going with the very cheapest. I got a workstation video card shipped to me in a box slightly bigger than the card. It arrived bent and took me two months to get my money back. Saving a couple of extra dollars just isn't worth it.

Re:And we're keeping _both_ of ours (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183698)

Objectivly, Best buy, Compusa, Fry's, Microcenter, ect; they're all the same. They all do the same thing. It's wrong to think you can go to one or the other and not get fucked. Just remember:

1: Do not trust what the salesmen say. They lie.

2: Technicians are always more trustworthy than salesmen.

3: Technicians will screw you over if they are told to do so.

4: Anything sold can and usually is made of cheap shit unless it's a specific brand like belkin or asus. Salesmen know this, that's why they try to get you to buy the shotty product.

5: Read the service contracts, inquire as to how they are fulfilled with those fulfilling them prior to using them.

6: The salesmens and supervisors jobs are to make you work to get what's rightfully yours (in some instances). Managers are usually there to play the good guy so they have to give you less than what your expect.

7: Everyone oversells their services; this will lead you to perceive you are entitled to more than you really are. Beware.

Re:And we're keeping _both_ of ours (2, Funny)

Trelane (16124) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183762)

I'm not surprised.

I mean, you expect a CompUSA to sell COMPuters, in the USA. Fry's? Apple?! WTH? They must be a fast food joint and a fruit stand or something!

Which half? (0, Offtopic)

IMarvinTPA (104941) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183232)

The way the headline reads, I thought they were closing the left half or the right half (or back/front) of each store. Maybe if they Sublease the other half out.

IMarv

Re:Which half? (1)

Sabaki (531686) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183488)

Sale at CompUSA! 50% off -- all stores!

Re:Which half? (3, Funny)

physicsboy500 (645835) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183506)

he way the headline reads, I thought they were closing the left half or the right half (or back/front) of each store.

In an effort to increase attendance, CompUSA closed the half of it's store with the exit

Half of nothing... (2, Interesting)

amuro98 (461673) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183238)

The CompUSA's in my area closed a long time ago. Can't say I'm disappointed or anything. The last time I went to one looking for an external HDD enclosure. I was shocked to discover they really were hardly selling computers anymore, but were very intent on selling me a flat screen TV (way over priced compared to the nearby Best Buy, Frys, even Circuit City...) They had no more Mac stuff. Their PC displays were about 2 years old, and still selling at full price. Made me wonder why the store was called "Comp" anymore since that certainly wasn't their primary business.

Then I heard they merged with Good Guys, and now all those stores are gone too. At least the folks at Good Guys were friendly and knowledgeable even if their stores and selection was small.

Between its crummy customer service, bad sales people that make Frys employees look like geniuses, terrible prices and even worse selection, does ANYONE actually shop at CompUSA anymore?

Re:Half of nothing... (1)

QuantumPion (805098) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183704)

I still shop at Compusa fairly frequently. Not too long ago my motherboard died and needed an RMA, but I couldn't cross ship. So, I bought a replacement at Compusa without having to wait for shipping. It was definitely overpriced, but was comparable to getting overnight shipping anyway. Even more recently my power supply died and again, Compusa allowed me to get my computer up an running the same night at around the same price of getting a new power supply shipped overnight from Newegg. I also buy keyboards and such there, as I can try them out on display, and I also bought my last LCD monitor there because I could return it if it had _any_ dead pixels.

I'm kind of saddened buy this but not at all surprised. They don't offer large scale business needs nor competitive prices on consumer goods, nor technical advice to the less computer savvy. Their one niche is offering parts locally otherwise only available online at a premium to users who know what they need when they walk in the door.

Ode to CompUSA, or, why I don't hate the place. (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183906)

Between its crummy customer service, bad sales people that make Frys employees look like geniuses, terrible prices and even worse selection, does ANYONE actually shop at CompUSA anymore?

Yeah, I do. I don't know what they must have done to the store in your area, but the one near me isn't like that. Yeah, it has a TV section in it somewhere, but it's small relative to everything else. They have a big (compared to other B&M stores) selection of parts, including barebones systems, cases, power supplies, etc.

Their employees weren't geniuses, but they weren't too bad either. When I've gone in and asked "where are your hard drives?" they've generally been able to gesture and mutter in such a way as to convey to me the general location in the store where I might find hard drives, which is pretty much all I ask from retail-store workers anymore. (This is superior to Best Buy, who, I am convinced, have attempted some sort of cost-savings by taking on the least trainable residents of local State-run mental health facilities and setting them to work on the sales floor.) They've also accepted returns without a huge hassle.

My local store still has an "Apple corner" with a measly selection of software, and some Mac-specific hardware, which I occasionally have got stuff from. They seem to move their fair share of Apple CPUs, particularly around the beginning of the school year, although I assume their business has been hit hard by the Apple Store nearby. I guess I wouldn't blame them if they cut back on the Mac stuff (but then again, I don't fault Apple for going ahead with the standalone stores either, since I always did question CompUSA's commitment to that particular venture).

A typical trip to CompUSA for me happened a few weeks ago, when the power supply on my SO's Dell (thank God it was one of the ones with regular ATX supplies) blew. I went down, picked up a new 400W supply for $29.95 (after 'instant rebate'), and the computer was back up and running inside of an hour. With a mail-order place, she would have been out of a computer for most of a week, and I don't even know if Best Buy or the other places of its ilk sell power supplies. (I'd prefer not to find out, since the lighting in the place just makes me ill.)

It's not a real 'computer store' in the sense that I'd really like to shop at -- some sort of small independent place with a bin full of parts that I could paw through -- but those places basically don't exist in the suburban strip-mall hellhole that's my neck of the woods, at least that I've ever found. They were about the closest thing to one.

There are a lot of things I could say about CompUSA, but in general, I'd sum them up as being reliably inoffensive. They weren't great, but they didn't make me want to set fire to the place in the same way that Best Buy does.

How's that for a eulogy?

I use newegg more and more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183246)

Hard to remember the last time I went retail. If I must get a part by evening and don't have one in stock, maybe I go CompUSA. I don't expect the prices to be good, or the staff knowledgeable. I expect there to be a slow moving line, no matter how empty the store. 3 stores in my local suburban philly area. They could close 2 of them without much impact on me. When I look back into the past, I was in CompUSA several times a week, now more like every other month.

kinda sad. (5, Informative)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183292)

Here on the east coast, we don't have fry's electronics. Where i'm at, the nearest circuit city is in the next city, the best buy usually has like 3 video cards, 1 sub-par motherboard, and approximately 23 hojillion music cd's, dvd's, and washing machines.

For all its shortcomings, when my hard drive failed, i went to compusa to get back up and running the same day, when the 9700pro didn't offer an oem, compusa ran a special that was cheaper than the internet in general (same price + shipping). With a corporate buyer, they beat the other big box stores in both volume pricing and responsive service (usually 2-3 account reps on staff in the one by work).

Reasons why i'll miss it aside, I've gotta say that compusa is failing for a reason. The corporate office treats its parts, employees, and customers as commodities. Refunds are a pain if its open box (like a laptop keeps overheating, you gotta take it in 3 times, and the 4th time it fails you get a refund), the repairs are shoddy and if its dll hell, rather than find and replace the dll or do some other moderately advanced repair, they'll charge you 200 bucks for a reinstall of windows, provided you still have the disks. The employees will rarely be honest or knowledgeable about if a product is in stock, and most likely will say yes just to get your hopes up and you in the door.

I've also heard stories where the cashiers are told to cheat the sales people out of commissions for big computer sales, where they'll "forget" to punch in a 3 digit code that signifies bonus to the sales rep. No wonder you get minimum help for minimum wage.

Re:kinda sad. (5, Funny)

jackb_guppy (204733) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183554)

There is a Fry's on East Coast!! Atlanta... 8hrs away for me.

I am lucky, I live between 3 Fry's, Chicago, Atlanta and Dallas. They are only a day away!

Re:kinda sad. (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183880)

Here on the east coast, we don't have fry's electronics.

No Fry's within 100 miles here on the west coast, either...

the best buy usually has like 3 video cards, 1 sub-par motherboard, and approximately 23 hojillion music cd's, dvd's, and washing machines.

Yeah, it's the same everywhere... and it has been exactly that for 10+ years. Don't even get me started on their selection of monitors, and the utter shittyness of what they chose to stock.

For all its shortcomings, when my hard drive failed, i went to compusa to get back up and running the same day,

Worst Buy does, however, always have numerous hard drives on hand, at decent prices...

Small Business Rejoice. (3, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183296)

CompUSA is a major competitive threat to small buisness. First the take potentional Customers away. Next they sell them Crap that makes people in general hate PC. Then when they break They take the buisness and because they have under trained people fixing the systems they do a halfassed job and charge 2/3 the price a Pro will do it right. CompUSA was much like the Walmart of Computers. It really hurt the sales of companies who pay more for skilled labor.

End of IT in USA as we see it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183308)

This is the beginning of a trend - IT will move away from USA. More and more IT companies are closing their doors. In India workers do much cheaper work so these companies will move their activities to India and China.

Re:End of IT in USA as we see it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183470)

What do retailers have to do with IT? We're still buying tons of IT products, just not from CompUSA.

Besides, the outsourcing trend is over; execs are creatures of fads more than anything else and that particular fad has passed.

"more than 50" = "56" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183330)

Why make the headline longer and less precise?

The End of the Customer Appreciation Bat? (4, Funny)

Cr0w T. Trollbot (848674) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183354)

Somehow, I don't think Gabe and Tycho are heartbroken. [penny-arcade.com]

Crow T. Trollbot

Re:The End of the Customer Appreciation Bat? (2, Insightful)

gregleimbeck (975759) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183672)

Maddox isn't either [thebestpag...iverse.net]

Oh, no! (5, Funny)

saintlupus (227599) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183358)

Wherever will I find gold-plated $30 USB cables?

Oh, okay, Best Buy will still be open.

--saint

Re:Oh, no! (1)

RalphP (1039404) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183660)

Probably the same place I laugh at them at - OfficeMax, OfficeDepot, BestBuy, CircuitCity.

Re:Oh, no! (1)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183728)

Staples?

Arlington TX store high quality, high cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183400)

The Arlington, Texas store has high-quality people but they are overpriced compared to the Fry's Electronics a mile away. They are also smaller than the Fry's and the even-closer Circuit City.

Trivia tidbit:
CompUSA started life in the '80s as SoftWarehouse in the Dallas area. Before the other big-box stores, they were THE place to go for computer software selection.

Re:Arlington TX store high quality, high cost (0, Offtopic)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183684)

Yes, we had a SoftWarehouse in Orange County, California too back in the day. Their prices were about 30% lower than anyone else's. I could browse that store for hours.

in other words.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183406)

CompUSA has become CompChina

Oy. (1)

SighKoPath (956085) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183426)

I sure hope mine doesn't close. It's the only place within a 5 hour drive that I can buy Bawls! My only alternative is to pay twice the price from thinkgeek...

THANK GOODNESS (2)

get quad (917331) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183440)

This is the moment many of us have prayed for. The beginning of the end of one of the most incompetent technology chains to have ever existed.

Blame the rebates (1)

n0w0rries (832057) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183576)

Original COMPUSA business plan: 1. Sell customer overpriced item with big rebate 2. Find any reason to not pay rebate 3. ????? 4. Profit! Since they are forced to actually PAY their rebates they find it suddenly hard to stay profitable?

Rip USA economy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183492)

..And for my nineteen birthday I got a union card and a wedding coat. We went down to the courthouse and the judge put it all to rest.

I got a job working construction for the Johnstown company, but lately there aint been much work on account of the economy. Now all them things that seemed so important, well mister they vanished right into the air. Now I just act like I dont remember, Mary acts like she dont care.

Source of the cash (5, Funny)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183536)

...would receive a $440 million cash capital infusion, but it was not specific as to the source of the cash

Someone finally paid for the retail version of Windows Vista Ultimate.

Re:Source of the cash (5, Informative)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183662)

The $440 million came from its parent company. My friend works in a CompUSA and received a memo about the cash infusion a couple weeks ago. He asked me if that meant there was anything to worry about and I said "no, don't worry, that means they're investing more the expand the business, it happens all the time." So, this morning I got a phone call..."hey, remember when you said not to worry?!"

Here is some hot news for you...almost all of the inventory is going up on eBay for pennies on the dollar.

Re:Source of the cash (5, Funny)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183792)

Here is some hot news for you...almost all of the inventory is going up on eBay for pennies on the dollar.*

* After rebates

Re:Source of the cash (1)

AchimbaProphet (638636) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183828)

CompUSA generated the cash by sending in for rebates on their unsold goods.

Too bad (3, Informative)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183546)

First Computer City, now CompUSA. We have 2 CompUSA stores within a half hour so hopefully one will survive. I find CompUSA has always had a much wider selection of computer parts like video boards, drives, networking gear, etc. And their sale prices are often excellent. For example their hard drive sale prices are usually very competitive with the best mail order prices. Ditto for memory and video boards. I think their downfall was getting into home theatre gear like flat screen TVs and such. Every time I have checked out their TV offerings I have found them sorely lacking. They are over-priced and, worse, their displays are not properly configured. Most of their display TVs have poor picture adjustments and they almost always have incorrect aspect ratios. They are a tech store; they should know how to set these things up. It's pathetic. Hopefully they will get back to their roots, which is computers, computer accessories and software, and leave the home theatre, cell phones and digital camera gear to others.

Deja Vu (2, Insightful)

brian.gunderson (1012885) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183642)

We can't forget about Ultimate Electronics [nytimes.com] ... Deja Vu?

Re:Too bad (1)

SkyDude (919251) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183848)

I find CompUSA has always had a much wider selection of computer parts like video boards, drives, networking gear, etc. And their sale prices are often excellent. For example their hard drive sale prices are usually very competitive with the best mail order prices. Ditto for memory and video boards. I think their downfall was getting into home theatre gear like flat screen TVs and such.

I would agree with your comments. They took their eye off the ball. But, they must have seen a growing softness in the component business, which drove them to expand into the all encompassing consumer electronics market.

Here in the Boston area, computer "shows" used to be a big deal. Now, there's just one or two that continue to attract a crowd of any size. The smaller shows have disappeared. The reason - online purchasing of components and the fact that very good machines can be bought for about the same price as a custom build. I'm not talking about the smokin' hot gamer machine with the $500 video card and 4 GB of RAM. I'm referring to the fast 64-bit PC, capable of running Vista without modification. Personally, I used to build machines for friends, relatives and a former employer, but in recent years, it's just as cost effective to buy them pre-built.

Competing in the general consumer market selling TVs in a store called "CompUSA" didn't help them at all.

NewEgg 1 CompUSA 0 (2, Insightful)

utefan001 (968352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183572)

NewEgg 1 CompUSA 0
Anyone know when NewEgg is going public?

The article should have been titled... (1)

Stevecat (198954) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183602)

"CompUSA, pwned by Fry's"

-SmR

money from mexico-based bank (4, Informative)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183606)

CompUSA said in a statement it would close 126 of its stores and would receive a $440 million cash capital infusion, but it was not specific as to the source of the cash


From this article [app.com] : The closings will leave 103 stores. Nunez said CompUSA said the restructuring will include receiving $440 million from Mexico City-based parent U.S. Commercial Corp, a holding company controlled by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim.

Store purchases? Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183630)

I only go into a store to "try" a product, clothes to get my size for example, then I go online and purchase it at the best price shipped anywhere in Europe.

Why pay the shelf price tag these days?

So pretty much the only thing left is online? (2, Interesting)

Nightspirit (846159) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183638)

I stopped shopping at best buy due to an extended warranty fiasco, and nearly everything at my frys electronics is refurbished. Circuit city doesn't really carry much hardware. So I guess that pretty much leaves newegg and tiger direct. They tend to be cheaper but sometimes instant gratification is good as well.

Re:So pretty much the only thing left is online? (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183822)

Yeah, and this from TA was not really accurate: "CompUSA competes with Best Buy and Circuit City."

When I need a 1U, rack-mountable, 8 port, KVM (or some other piece of professional networking equipment) I don't even think of going to Best Buy or Circuit City.

Does anyone know if the ones in Washington State are staying open?

Re:So pretty much the only thing left is online? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183824)

and nearly everything at my frys electronics is refurbished.

I have had far less problems with refurb'd products than with new ones. See, when they're refurbished, they fix what's broken. So you know (most of the time) that the product has already broken and been fixed.

The problem with Fry's is that when people bring things back they often just re-shrink-wrap them and put them back on the shelf. Once I bought a box that claimed to contain a PCI UW-SCSI card. I got it hope and opened it and it had an ISA Fast/Narrow SCSI card. The people who work at Fry's are mostly total fucking idiots. And they don't mind fucking over the customer. Who has time or energy to care in retail at or near minimum wage?

refurbished vs. open-box (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183834)

Fry's and some other big-box stores sell 4 kinds of merchandise:

*New in factory-sealed box.
*Factory-refurbished items. These have a different SKU, a lower price, and a shorter warranty. Consider buying if you can get an extended warranty for less than the price-difference or you can afford to take the risk.
*both of the above in customer-returned "open" boxes

Customer returns may or may not have an "open-box" discount depending on if parts are missing or damaged.

If you buy a customer-returned computer that has an OS installed, insist they reformat the disk FROM REMOVABLE MEDIA while you watch them do it. They usually reformat using the on-disk reformatting software but that won't wipe viruses that corrupt the restore partition. Obviously if you are going to nuke the drive you can skip this step.

Sometimes older models are marked down for clearance. Get a factory-sealed one if you can to avoid surprises.

I generally recommend against extended warranties unless the manufacture warranty is under a year.
However, some stores have warranty features that may make it worth it to you. For example, Fry's has a 2-year "one time exchange" warranty on its cheap printers. If you are buying one as a gift for someone this might make sense.

Will be missed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183686)

I specifically go to CompUSA to buy LCD monitors... if there is even one dead/stuck pixel, that sucker is going back. Recently purchased a Gateway FPD2275W that I took back twice till I got one without issues. I really wanted the PIP, formfactor and touch panel... so putting up with shoddy QA is okay. Yes I'm spending more than I would at newegg, but I also have a perfect monitor for the extra money. Well worth it in my book.

You could see this comming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183694)

I have not been to compusa for more than a year. Prices are much worse than newegg. Service stinks and it seems like everything there was tied to a mail in rebate.

WARNING. RANT. . ..
The last mail in rebate was for two sticks of memory. Guess what. The person at the store said it was good on a pair. The letter telling me my rebate was rejected said it was only good one one stick of DDR and not on the other identical stick.
END RANT. . .

Thank you, dont come again!

I'm not suprised at all (4, Insightful)

xted (125437) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183700)

I worked for Compusa in Chandler, AZ (Store 249) for two summers and it was almost too much to bare. The sales people on the floor are generally lazy, dishonest, and unwilling to go out of their way for customers. We were in a relatively low traffic store because of our location. The managers were generally 23 year old kids in there to make their $35k a year until they got fired.

The thing I always was frustrated with was we were threatened into selling warranties that would not cover anything other than factory defect. For each warranty we sold we got anywhere from $1-$4 on cameras, peripherals and $5-$10 on computer warranties.

We almost never had anything in stock. Probably 50% of the questions we got we sent to other nearby stores.

The other problem I had was the amount of time it took for people to be able to buy laptops. Somebody would pick out a laptop, then I would need to check the stock on the item, then go back up to the front of the store grab a UPC sheet for that laptop for the person to get checked out, and we could only ring the person out through the tech shop, so I would need to page a manager to unlock the register and check them out. Usually it takes at least 5 minutes for the manager to come over, then the manager would raz you for not selling warranties as we walked over to laptop lockup. We had to Find the matching UPC laptop, which generally we could not find because somebody took that one already (in which case we would have to return and re-ring the poor guy's laptop), but if we do find it, we fill out a checkout form. walk out and hand it to the guy. This process usually takes 30 minutes if the store is at all busy.

The other thing was the stores stocked so much shit in them. Paper.. landscaping software.. desk gadgets..lame PC mod stuff & lame cases... off brand overpriced external drives.. offbrand networking devices.. Video Games.. Books.. We spent more time moving old shit around than we actually spent on the sales floor. They should should have less selection.. more stock. They needed to go through with a fine tooth comb and fix that.

It was a great job in the summer because it was indoors, pretty easy, the hours were flexible, the people were okay, but I have seen a big decline in the last few years.

competes? (1)

A_Non_Moose (413034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183708)

FTA:
CompUSA competes with Best Buy and Circuit City.

I never knew they existed until visiting up north (black friday in OH).

But got a BB and CC nearby and there is a fry's in atlanta (never been, yet).

Re:competes? (1)

tweek (18111) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183948)

Actually there are now TWO Fry's in Atlanta.

Alpharetta (up 400)
Gwinnett (Near the mall)

I enjoy going to Fry's for an hour and wandering around. They have stuff I need and my wife actually enjoys it too since it's not JUST a geek store.

The amazing thing about Fry's is that I can find pretty much anything I need. I needed to bolt a 19" telco rack to a concrete floor the other day. Fry's had the bolts.

My 2 Cents on CompUSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183726)

There are 2 CompUSAs in my Metro area (down from 3, believe it or not). Everything said above is pretty true about them, but you know what? There is ONE thing they are good for (around here at least). They provide weekly sales on quality blank DVD media that the Media pirates/bootleggers eat up like catfish! Half the people that go into the closest CompUSA to me are going there to buy blank DVDs/CDs ($20-$25 for 100 DVDs, $10-$15 for 100 CDs). Brands like Sony, TDK, and Memorex. If they close the last two left, the bootleggers will have to start clearing out Office Depot I guess....

That's what they get (5, Funny)

CptChipJew (301983) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183736)

Their biggest mistake was not letting Belkin build the entire store. Their lack of gold-plating around the buildings led to low performance.

From a Compusa employee (5, Interesting)

NovaEona (1069708) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183768)

Last I heard from the management, only four of the stores were closing down so far, the rest was up in the air. That could just be a calm-the-sheep lie though, so I'm not arguing. I do know that the last six or seven American execs just got canned and replaced with imports (money from Mexico, execs from Mexico), and that they're doing a level-by-level layoff scan. With any luck this might be a good thing though; my store is one of the better performing ones, with a few actually honest people. I'm one of the repair techs, and an honest one at that; they don't pay me enough to lie for them, and I've told the managers that. My little badge of honor is that no customer has ever asked me about Vista and then went on to purchase it. The stores are desperately understaffed though, so maybe we'll actually get some funds to fill out the staff (right now if anyone in the tech department calls out, a manager has to take his place, and the sales floor isn't doing much better). On the other hand, if my store was one of the closers, that'd be okay too.

Review your damn stories (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18183862)

CompUSA hs announced

Why shop there? (4, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183894)

CompUSA seems to be going through the same type of identity crisis that is common amongst retail stores that are soon to be out of business. What do they sell? Computers, and accessories? Software? Video games? Consumer electronics? Cell Phones? They do a dozen things and none of them stand out. There is nothing that people want to buy where they think "CompUSA" when they are deciding where to go to get it.

Since they've lost their focus, things that they used to do well have suffered. They used to have a wide variety of computer parts and accessories. Now it seems they've opted for the "thousand types of the same item" style over the "thousands of options". If you want a wireless router or a video card, sure, you've got a huge selection. Otherwise, sorry... Best to shop online. In the new areas they've pushed into, they are only making a token effort. Why would you go to CompUSA to look for video games? Sure, they sell Video Games, but they only have a few titles, and low stock levels, so chances are you're not going to find what you're looking for. Same goes for TVs, or Cell Phones.

They should pick something and do it well, or they should go out of business.

Good riddance (2, Informative)

anomaly (15035) | more than 7 years ago | (#18183914)

I shop CompUSA - although I'm not a great customer - I shop the rebate sales and actually complete the rebate paperwork, and no, I don't buy the regularly priced merchandise while I'm there.

I find that they don't consistently post pricing for items, and their customer service is terrible. Ever order over the web for in store pickup? I keep going to the store hours after placing the order and then waiting in line for the management to task a sales clerk to go fetch the products from the shelves. Ick.

They don't know their products, nor do they know where the inventory is, they advertise products at a cheap price that are sold out when I arrive 2 hours after store opening (and when their inventory system says that they have items in stock.) They have been doing an awful job of meeting the market needs, and this is what happens in a competitive market.

I hope that a well stocked, fair priced alternative arrives. Shockingly, I'd pay more for good quality products, skilled sales people, and efficient customer service when I go to a store. I concluded long ago that this was out of the question for CompUSA, and decided to work the angles for cheap after-rebate merchandise from them while waiting for them to collapse.

It's the old Montgomery Wards -> Sears story repeated a hundred years later. Wards was a huge mail order powerhouse, but were upstaged by technology and marketing powerhouse Sears when they didn't adapt to new technology and business models in time. Of course the same thing happened to Sears, too.

Good by, CompUSA. Hello Buy.com, NewEgg, and Fry's! :)
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