After more than a decade out of the retail spotlight, the CompUSA name is back under new ownership and operating under an entirely different business model.
Petra Industries announced that it has named Jim Loden, formerly of RadioShack, director of business development. Loden will handle new and existing business development in support of Inside Sales, WirelessHQ and E-Commerce sales channels.
Systemax has been talking about Retail 2.0 since 2009, when it was attempting to revive CompUSA as a retail brand. Now, the company is bringing out the next generation of Retail 2.0 in its TigerDirect stores- and it's all about the Internet of Things.
As more brick-and-mortar retailers close their doors—Circuit City, Blockbuster, Ritz Camera, CompUSA and Dixons, among others—and Amazon becomes more and more powerful, I am constantly asked by our manufacturer customers about how best to navigate an increasingly challenging landscape.
More of this year's Dealerscope 40 Under 40
Also announced today was the decision to exit the PC manufacturing game, at a one-off cost of $6m to $8m. The company believes the move will allow the "strengthening [of] its strategic relationships with vendor partners within the desktop PC category [and] should provide improved profitability of between $1m and $2m" each year. Meanwhile, Systemax's US consumer brands are to be united under the banner of TigerDirect, its largest operation. The CompUSA and Circuit City monikers are to be retired, at a cost of about $34m, which will show up
CompUSA and Circuit City are both going away once again.
The way Michael Perlman sees it, there probably has never been a worse time to be a traditional consumer electronics retailer: A relentlessly bad economy has battered sales and beaten back consumer confidence; anyone can find just about anything cheaper on the Internet (and, in most cases, skip the state sales tax while doing so); the general CE industry has practically handed customers over to Apple. The list goes on.
When we asked this year's group of 40 Under 40 industry stars to share their take on the state of the economy, one of our favorite answers came from Micah Williams, owner of Sonus Car Audio in Clarksville, Tenn.
Long before Brian Dunn resigned as Best Buy Co.'s chief executive amid accusations of misconduct, he described his feelings about the company in starkly personal terms. "I don't want this to sound cornball," Dunn said in a 2008 company video, "but it really matters to me that this is a place where somebody can walk in and build an extraordinary path for himself." Dunn began carving out such a path in 1985. He was 25 years old, with no college education, when his mother helped him get a job selling VCRs and CD players at Best Buy's Minnetonka store.