Taking Retail to The Next Level
Last year, revenue for Systemax's Technology Group grew 14 percent to $1.9 billion, according to the company, while TigerDirect.com, CompUSA.com, and now CircuitCity.com, rank among the top trafficked computer-related e-commerce sites.
Retail 2.0, however, will be the piece that's most closely watched in the industry, mainly because it includes elements that other retailers, no matter their size, can borrow. "Clearly, it makes sense," said Steve Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD. "We're all struggling to find a new in-store experience that integrates the best parts of Web and the best parts of what people want to get out of a retail store environment. Everyone will eventually move to that type of environment."
Fiorentino began to formulate Retail 2.0 shortly after Systemax bought CompUSA early last year. As Fiorentino visited the stores, he noticed the nearly 200 screens—TVs, PC monitors, notebooks—in each did little more than play clips of "The Lion King." Many sales people were uninformed about the latest technologies. When they needed product, pricing or inventory information, they had to use a computer at the front of the store.