In the neighborhood near TMC, three stores have recently been wiped away in the past years. The first to go was the hardware store which could not compete against Home Depot. The next was the photo development store because of ofoto and Walmart. The most recent was CompUsa because – well a number of reasons. WalMart, Costco, Staples, BJ’s Warehouse, the internet, circuit city, Best Buy, Radio Shack, etc.
Now it seems the company will be closing their stores for good.
I remember — about a decade or so ago, how happy I was when I first walked into the new CompUSA about a half mile from TMC’s headquarters in Norwalk, CT. Losing the store hasn’t real changed much for local residents however because Best Buy has a store nearby — even closer to TMC’s headquarters by the way, and to be honest the Norwalk CompUSA didn’t really have the most attentive staff.
The lesson here is when your business is rapidly being commoditized you need to either evolve or die.
In retrospect, having the best possible service would have helped the company survive a while longer and possibly indefinitely. Another idea would have been to focus on getting Apple mini-stores inside each of the company’s stores (if Apple would have even gone for this). The final idea would have been to launch EntUSA (short for Entertainment USA) – a store which would be part of the existing stores and sell flat screen TVs, etc.
Or a name change to ShopUSA might have worked as well – allowing the company to focus more on the flat screen market.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Carlos Slim the owner of the company did also purchase The Good Guys which is a consumer electronics chain. It seems there was no plan to integrate the two and if there was it didn’t migrate to stores I have seen.
It is sad to see the company go but I guess new stores evolve as retailers go under. We can just add CompUSA to other shopping memories I have had at CalDor, WoolWorth, Rickles, Bradleys, Sounds Alive, Tech HiFi, Sears and so many other retailers that closed their stores here in Fairfield, Country Connecticut.
Russell Shaw: CompUSA is closing for good. Good.