Wednesday, May 13, 2009

For those who like zombie stories, CompUSA is back

I live near Montclair, California, which is home to the Montclair Plaza and a number of surrounding businesses. A few years ago, this area boasted four electronics stores - Best Buy, Circuit City, Comp USA, and Good Guys. Only Best Buy is still in the area today, and I believe that Comp USA was the first of the stores to exit Montclair. Eventually Comp USA exited everywhere, closing all of its stores. But, at BusinessWeek reports, it's baaaack:

CompUSA's new owner is turning the stores into Internet entrance ramps. PC and television monitors not only display eye-catching clips, as they do in most retail chains; each points as well to the device's product page on the Web site. Shoppers can also check store inventories and even browse competitors' sites to compare prices. "We want to give people the rich experience of buying online," says Gilbert Fiorentino, who heads the chain's retail strategy.

And CompUSA's moves seem to be working:

Systemax says North American sales rose 14%, to $1.9 billion, in 2008. In contrast, Best Buy's same-store sales have been declining since last year....

More here.
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