Jack Action writes "Small computer stores, even those with a few locations are being squeezed by big boxes like Best Buy and Staples using PC's, especially notebooks, as loss leaders. According to the Globe and Mail, spending on computer products at small retailers in the Canadian market dropped in half over the last year, while at the same time jumping by 29% at big box stores. Elsewhere, even large chains like CompuServe and Circuit City are in trouble.
Small retailers in the Canadian market have had to make innovative changes to stay alive: slashing staff, paying for assembly by the piece, negotiating bulk orders from vendors, and emphasizing customs orders for the geek market — but still its a struggle. Is the loss of the local neighbourhood computer store the inevitable outcome of the market, or will something valuable be lost if they all go down the tubes?"