You'd think with all the talk of hot electronics sales and a growing base of HDTV users that the larger chain stores would be flourishing and basking in the glory of increased sales and untold profits. Apparently, the CompUSA story is more akin to a large ship hemorrhaging cash and failing to compete in a sea of slashed profit margins and online sales.
Discuss "CompUSA Closing Doors After Christmas" here. Read the article.
Many people believe it is the constant battering that such stores get from Wal-Mart, and obviously poor management is another suspect. In reality, it's a combination of both. After the Black Friday HDTV fiasco at Wal-Mart many other retailers where left scratching their bum. Circuit City is hurting as well, and not just because of Best Buy and Wal-Mart, once again poor management.
An example of a store that doesn't get winded after Wal-Mart does something different would be Costco, they apparently have good management and know how to react to these situations.
As a former retailer and current e-merchant I can say:
On-line sales are excellent. December is going very well on the internet and significantly better than last year. If there is a recession brewing it hasn't reached the internet yet.
The difference between Walmart and CompUSA is that Walmart built a business on profitability and tough management while CompuUSA built one on leverage. It was popular in the 80's and 90's to build retail chains on nothing but leverage. Growth for the sake growth and all that stuff. While Walmart owned their inventory, the "wonder chains" borrowed ever more heavily. A few have survived it but it wasn't easy.
Obviously it is possible to retail computers. Best Buy does it effectively. I bought a wireless network device there just this week. They had a new Apple department. I don't think that is the problem. I wouldn't view Walmart as an effective computer retailer - at least I would never go there for computer things. Walmart didn't do in CompUSA. The problem is leverage and management. They did themselves in.
Compusa was always a last resort place for me... with their prices as high as they were, I could never justify shopping there on a regular basis...
its completely understandable that they couldn't compete with Internet sales...
keep up on if they start liquidating. Could use a new laptop
-Infinity Primus 250 Fronts -Infinity Primus 150 Surrounds -Polk CSM Center Channel -Polk PSW10 Subwoofer -Pioneer VSX-815K 7.1 receiver -Toshiba HDCD SD-6915 DVD Audio/Super Audio CD -HP a1400e Computer with Dolby Soundchip and Processing Software.
Soon to Come: Harman kardon AVR-635.
Problem was management. They where more worried about fudging numbers to make bonus. Huge lack of direction. When the CEO lays off a bunch of people and then pulls up in his new ferrari the next day you know something is wrong.
A couple of years ago, their sister company, Good Guys, bit the dust (right after I bought my speakers), now CompUSA. Too bad.
The Picture: Panasonic TH-50PX6U 50" Plasma. The Power: Denon AVR-4306
Sources: Denon DVD-3910, Samsung BD-P3600 Blu-Ray, Pioneer Elite PD-F27 CD Jukebox, Music Hall MMF-5 Turntable, U-Verse HD DVR
Speakers: Monitor Audio Silver RS6/RSLCR/RSFX
The Boom: Velodyne SPL-1000R
I swear to God, this is the week I'll finish chewing thru these restraints...
There isn't a single company in the United States that deserves it more.
Congratulations, CompUSA, you've earned this, and you will not be missed.
Marantz > McCormack > Van Alstine > Magneplanar, and no grey wires.