Despite the (semi-true) claims, especially after the Dot Com bubble burst that brick-and-mortar stores were not “at risk” because of Internet based shopping, there continues to be a stream (ok, maybe more like a trickle) of companies that continue to fall.Â The lastest is CompUSA, who announced the sale of the company with the intent of closing the business.
Now certainly there were other factors besides the Inetnet at play here.Â The comapany for a number of years now lost itsÂ way.Â They struggled from a time where they were the only show in town, to when they tried to be a “gaming shop” bringing in Nintendo and Sega (this was a while ago) stations for people to sit down and try out games at, to dedicating entirely too much space to an underselling Apple department, to when they decided to try the televisions sets sales to be a sort of quasi-electronics store equivalent.
You could blame a poorly trained, quick turnover, underpaid staff for their problems at least in part, but so far places like Best Buy are managing to not only survive but thrive with this sort of staff.Â And speaking of which additional competitors such asÂ Wal-Mart of course forced down the margins and stole customers from the seemingly overpriced CompUSA. Â Again though, Best Buy and (too a much lesser extent) Circuit City have managed to survive against these problems.Â So what is the difference?Â The Internet.Â Those that continue to survive or even thrive in the current market have pleasant or even downright easy Web presences.Â CompUSA never quite got this right.
So now, I will remember CompUSA along with other since dead companies that couldn’t keep up with the world, such as Egghead Software,Â ComputerLand, Nobody Beats The Wiz (outside the Northeast, you probably don’t remember this one), AT&T (TheÂ original, not theÂ SBC rebrandedÂ version),Â and ComputerÂ City (which oddly enough was bought out by CompUSA) among others.
Of course the nice thing about this, is if you have one of the remaining CompUSA stores near you, there may be some nice sales to be had, which is always nice during the holiday season.