CompUSA 2.0

The retailer went bankrupt in late 2007, but the new owner is trying to revive the brand.

Though presumed to be dead since it went bankrupt more than a year ago, CompUSA is showing signs of life.

As Wired noted in a post Thursday, there are 30 new retail outlets bearing the CompUSA name in the U.S. that are trying a new retail strategy that includes computers available for customers to do price matching on the Web sites of CompUSA's competitors.

CompUSA

Gilbert Fiorentino, chief executive of the Technology Products Group at Systemax, the company that bought CompUSA , told Wired: "We have invented this idea of retail 2.0...Every screen in every CompUSA store is now connected to the Internet and making buying a richer experience for customers."

While it's unclear whether it's going to be successful, it can't be any worse than its previous strategy, which found the once venerable electronics retailer in bankruptcy in December 2007.

At the time, the company was struggling with competition from rivals Best Buy and Circuit City, but Circuit City met a similar fate right before last year's big holiday shopping season and was forced to file for bankruptcy protection. (Earlier this year, the retailer shut its doors.) Circuit City's fall was due to pressure from online retail outlets like Amazon.com and NewEgg.com, but also the sudden economic collapse and resulting credit crunch. Don't look for Circuit City 2.0 though. It's clear to most retailers, including apparently CompUSA, that the future of retail electronics is focused in the direction of the Web.

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.

 

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