Back From The Grave – CompUSA – It’s Alive!

CompUSA is back from the grave after filing for bankruptcy. The company is now under the wing of Systemax, which also runs TigerDirect, a successful online retailer. But what makes the new CompUSA different from the original version?

Consumers are able to access the Internet from computers scattered through out the store, to compare the prices of CompUSA to other retailers. This affords the consumer the confidence that they are getting the most bang for their buck. In an article from Wired it also states that:

Say you are in a CompUSA store trying to decide if that big plasma TV is the one you want. Just tap the keyboard in front of the screen and go online to check out the specs and reviews an even the recommended mounting brackets. There’s also custom information for that particular store, such as how many are in stock.

“We do the same thing with laptops, desktops and monitors,” says Fiorentino. “We are using tech to change the retail experience for the customer and giving them access to all the information on the internet anytime they want during the buying process.” And there are no restrictions. Users can surf the internet, check their Facebook or even Twitter if they want, says Fiorentino.

It may sound like a small change but it is quite different from how Best Buy, Office Depot or other brick-and-mortar stores display information to their customers, says Doug Fleener, president of retail consulting firm Dynamic Experiences and former director of retail for Bose.

“It’s an untested concept,” says Fleener. “We will have to see if customers like to spend their time gathering information while shopping rather than doing it at home.

So I went to the online site for CompUSA and snooped around to see what they had to offer. The banner ad states that CompUSA is back and is better than ever. But is it really better? That is a decision you may have to make.

I took a brief look at the CompUSA site to see what they were offering. The first item I looked at was this:

Corsair Dual Channel TWINX 4096MB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz Memory (2 x 2048MB) which after a $25 rebate was just $19.99. 

Or how about this item:

Corsair 8GB Flash Voyager USB Flash Drive which after instant and mail in rebates was $9.99.

Comments welcome.

CompUSA web site is here.