I remember hearing about the bankruptcy of CompUSA last year but had not clue their assets (including real estate) were acquired by a company called Systemax which still operates 30 stores under the CompUSA name. When CompUSA went bankrupt it made perfect sense to me but after hearing a CNNMoney interview of Gilbert Fiorentino (who heads retail operations) I’ve changed my opinion. Gilbert sounds extremely smart and his vision for CompUSA is quite spectacular. The idea is to create a Retail 2.0 environment where the retail store really has all the benefits of an online store, so instead of pulling away customers from newegg.com which is incredibly hard to do CompUSA is bringing the web experience to the traditional retail shopper. Remember, in terms of size, online commerce is only 10% of all retail so there are a heck of a lot of customers who still prefer walking through sliding doors. What gives me even more confidence in Gilbert’s plan is the fact that he was the founder of TigerDirect which you may recall is a major online electronics etailer. With that kind of cross platform expertise CompUSA might just pull off a really interesting success story.
Some of the web concepts brought to the store include digital owner’s manuals, reviews, product tutorials, pictures and installation details.
Here is the video: http://money.cnn.com/video/?/video/news/2009/02/06/news.compusa.020609.cnnmoney