CompUSA has been rebooted after a major crash in 2008. The company operates about 35 stores, mostly in Florida, but also in several other states and Puerto Rico, as well as an e-commerce site. It sells computers and peripherals, TVs, gaming consoles, cameras, and other electronics and accessories. CompUSA is a division of Systemax, a multi-channel marketer of consumer electronics and digital media technology. In 2008 Systemax acquired CompUSA's brand, website, and retail outlets. Originally a pioneer in big-box computer sales, CompUSA is reformatting itself as a next-generation retailer.
The company noted that its customers often spend hours researching products, comparing prices, and reading reviews online, before ever making it into the store to make a purchase. To help the process along, CompUSA in 2009 began deploying its "Retail 2.0" store concept, which blends the utility of the Web into its bricks-and-mortar stores. The retailer has enabled Internet access for its computers and TVs on display and installed bar code scanners to help locate other compatible and comparable products in stores. CompUSA also redesigned some locations to improve such aspects as lighting, product placement, and staff visibility. As a result of its stores' transformations, CompUSA reported a 20% higher in-store sales conversion rate in 2009. (Only a handful of stores hadn't converted to the Retail 2.0 plan by mid-2010 because they were being relocated.)
Systemax paid liquidator Gordon Brothers Group about $10 million for nearly 20 CompUSA retail stores and about $20 million for CompUSA.com. Intended as a vehicle for its TigerDirect subsidiary, Systemax rebranded its chain of about 10 TigerDirect shops as CompUSA stores in 2008.
Declining PC sales led to an ultimately unsuccessful attempt by the company to reposition itself as less of a computer retailer and more in the consumer electronics space by expanding its selection of home entertainment products. In a major restructuring, the company shuttered more than 125 stores in the first half of 2007, in order to focus more on its most successful locations. Yet even that failed to keep it out of the hands of a liquidator. Gordon Brothers acquired the retailer from its previous owner, Mexico's Grupo Carso, as part of the liquidation process.
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