CompUSA to Close Shop

CompUSA, the computer and gadget retailer controlled by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, announced yesterday that it had been sold to the Gordon Brothers Group, a restructuring and investment firm, for liquidation. The firm will close down CompUSA's remaining 103 stores after the holidays and sell some company assets, though the exact terms of the deal were not not disclosed. Active discussions are still underway to sell its technical services business, CompUSA TechPro, its online sales operation, CompUSA.com, and select stores in key markets.

However, the retailer has decided it'll stick around for one last holiday cash-in; as stated above, its remaining stores will stay open and staffed during the holiday season, offering discounts on computer and electronics ahead of the planned store closures. "An orderly and expedited wind-down and asset sale process is the best option for CompUSA and its creditors at this juncture," said Bill Weinstein, a Gordon Brothers principal who will be running CompUSA as its interim president.

Earlier this year, the company closed more than half of its U.S. retail stores in a bid to streamline operations and bolster margins at top-performing stores. Friday's sale did not come as a complete surprise to industry watchers. News reports have suggested that Slim -- who is among the world's wealthiest individuals -- was seeking to unload more of his interest in the company.

Thanks for the news tip, Jason H.

News source: Reuters
View: Neowin Forum Discussion (courtesy Galley)

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Pidgin 2.3.1

Next Story

Messenger Plus! 4.50

55 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I liked CompUSA when they started out. They were the only place to get parts that didn't looked used or abused. I now shop ZipZoomFly, Newegg, and the local outfit Directron.com here in town. The last thing I bought from CompUSA was a Microsoft wireless mouse a while back when it was on sale for $15. Sometimes you could catch some things on sale for good prices.

compusa had the highest prices and always pushed for extended warranty. another proof that free market works well.

I never had an issue with NewEgg but, one time I order like 5 case fans and they forgot to ship them. I called and they over night them to me.

Bestbuy is crap I brought a crappy Maxtor hard drive (I will never buy Maxtor again) and they never sent me my rebate check. Maxtor hard drive 3.1gb caught fire got too hot. Since it burn the id number Maxtor shipped the hard drive back to me and refuse replacement after saying they would replace it.

I found WD and never had another issue. I had Hard drive die replace no problem. Only time I buy locally is when my PSU goes out. I just had a Ultra die over night and had to run to Ciruit City to buy an Antec. The Ultra was free lasted a year being on 24/7 so really can't complain there.

CompUSA had their heyday before NewEgg or for that matter any other online retailer ever existed. Especially for games PC & Mac. To bad they didn't keep up with the competition online.

NewEgg has their problems, I just bought 3 DVD burners none of them from NewEgg (have bought 2 before). Read some of their reviews about burners, lot of problems with most of the burners only getting a 50-60% 5 eggs. Very poor packaging when they ship, I'll never buy another hard drive from them ever again after I saw the way they shipped 2 WD Raptors to me. ZipZoomFly packs much better. NewEgg at this time of year just throws everything in a box with a handfull of peanuts and with all the temps *Field Goaling* packages into the trucks at UPS... well lets just say "Do You Feel Lucky"? ;-))

I have been in the store quite a few times, but never bought a single thing from it. Newegg has always been so much cheaper than any brick and mortar store I have ever been to. Fry's has horrible prices in comparison to Newegg IMO.

Tha Bloo Monkee said,
We don't have CompUSA in Canada (go figure). Was it more like BestBuy or RadioShack?

I'd say more like RatShack and was the staple for nerds before eCommerce on the net became the standard.

There was a Computer superstore like CompUSA, it too was an American store but they closed long ago.

I think the market has gone to big box electronic stroes and specialty computer retailers who are large enough to be their own distributors. like NCIX in Vancouver, BC.

I'm surprised nobody mentioned MicroCenter, great stores (east coast). Anyone ever been in one?

I know when they opened the store in Cambridge MA. (right down the drive from MIT) the CompUSA on Mass Ave. closed shortly after.

Anyone know what the franchising requirements are for MicroCenter these days? I know what they were 10 years ago, maybe they've relaxed their requirements and have an expansion in the works.

murph1012 said,
I'm surprised nobody mentioned MicroCenter, great stores (east coast). Anyone ever been in one?

I know when they opened the store in Cambridge MA. (right down the drive from MIT) the CompUSA on Mass Ave. closed shortly after.

Anyone know what the franchising requirements are for MicroCenter these days? I know what they were 10 years ago, maybe they've relaxed their requirements and have an expansion in the works.

Dude, I love Micro Center. Don't know if you're talking about the same one as the one I went to in California.

bluewind_89 said,

Dude, I love Micro Center. Don't know if you're talking about the same one as the one I went to in California.

Yup most likely the same as http://www.microcenter.com/at_the_stores/index.html shows 2 stores now in Cali.

Bought my first P4 3GHz MB & CPU at the MA. retail store just over 3yrs ago. Best price at the time and I searched, searched, searched the net before going into the store with all my prices. Retail + 5% Tax vs. Net + S&H.

Originally out of Ohio I believe and seems that they are migrating west as the Colorado & Cali stores weren't on that page the last time I checked (years ago). I'm in Florida and the closest store to me is Atlanta GA. :-((
But anytime I'm up in DC or Boston I try to make a stop at MicroCenter to check out the Bargain/Open Box/Returns Tables.

They have those tables at the Cali store?

MicroCenter up in Cambridge MA. would allow a return on anything, even opened software, even without a sales slip (if you were registered with them) don't know if it's because of Massachusetts Consumer Protection Laws or just MC's general policy, but you can't beat that. Their stores are always busy with shoppers, morning, noon & night.

Every geek town should have a MicroCenter within 15 mile drive IMO, put these mom & pop ripoff stores out of business.

From nuts & bolts, wide selection of cables, etc. they have it all. (no bargain floppies anymore thou, heh).

Tiger Direct uses third party rebates! (could be a long wait,cash cards,cards that only allow purchases,time limits,charges for use,etc)

Small computer shops here are super expensive, one went out of business ... the big ones are useless in support but their prices are good.

Hey, there has to be a good side right? I'd imagine a killer going out of business sale like they had when they closed down half off their stores some time last year.

Small stores and family stores and such are almost instinct.


You mean extinct, right? And I'm sorry, but small and family computer stores (if they ever existed) were always the most expensive.

devHead said,


You mean extinct, right? And I'm sorry, but small and family computer stores (if they ever existed) were always the most expensive.

Not really. Depends on where you live.

Small mom and pop shops sell products for far less than the big name stores. They make up for it by charging insanely high restocking fees, enforcing VERY short warranty periods (usually for just seven days), fighting with customers to skimp away from honouring warranty policies, and sometimes mistreating stock. There are exceptions though: one example I can pull off the top of my head is the eVGA 8800 GT Superclocked card: where the small shops sell it for less than $290 CAD, stores like Tigerdirect sell it for $329. Yet Tigerdirect, like the small stores, also charge a restocking fee. Go figure.

Restocking fee? Crikey, you guys in the states really get ripped off don't you? Mind you, you pay lower prices initially... (Well, you did before the backside fell out of the dollar...)

Come to the UK, things like restocking fees are illegal!

For that matter he doesn't necessarily need to come to the UK. Any EU country will do it. It is an EU regulation that there might not be any restocking fee and that the minimum warranty is for 1 year.

FloatingFatMan said,
Come to the UK, things like restocking fees are illegal!

I wish it was like that in Canada. Europe has more balls than North America.

Dakkaroth said,
UK? Doesn't Europe get crappy prices when it comes to electronics? Where's the benefit in that? :huh:

ricknl said,
It is an EU regulation that there might not be any restocking fee and that the minimum warranty is for 1 year.

I've heard Europe does have way higher prices, but then they don't have to ditch extra money on top of that to get an extended warranty like here.

Of all the computer stores I went to when I lived in the States, CompUSA was the most expensive. Plus, with the popularity and superb prices of Newegg (and Fry's, if you're on the West Coast), I'm not surprised they are having to close down.

But hey, RPGFan, avoid TigerDirect; Newegg is much better with faster and cheaper shipping and better prices all around.

devHead said,
Of all the computer stores I went to when I lived in the States, CompUSA was the most expensive. Plus, with the popularity and superb prices of Newegg (and Fry's, if you're on the West Coast), I'm not surprised they are having to close down.

But hey, RPGFan, avoid TigerDirect; Newegg is much better with faster and cheaper shipping and better prices all around.

It's not a question of e-tail vs. retail (CompUSA never really swam in that ocean), but more over the lack of differentiation between products in even the brick-and-mortar retailers. Back when there was still a local CompUSA (Alexandria, VA was one of the stores to close earlier), they were the *only* place to actually stock ATI's TV tuner products (either TV Wonder or All-In-Wonder); I bought both my HDTV Wonder and my last AIW (the 9700 Pro) there. Now the AIW line is pretty much dead, and the TV Wonder actually has Official Clones (from VisionTek); even worse (for CompUSA, at least in the Washington, DC area), both Best Buy and Circuit City fixed their previously woeful computer departments and engaged in a price war. CompUSA was tthe place to get something if you needed it *right away*; however, with BB and CC having shaped up, there was an alternative to CompUSA's admittedly-higher prices.

Requiesat in pace, CompUSA.

It sucks that Greenville, SC will be losing the best lace to buy Apple gear, but I'm worried what's gonna happen to Bobby the Apple Sale Consultant at our CompUSA. He's a really cool dude, and I would hate if he had to move to another state to stay with the company.

Small stores and family stores and such are almost instinct.

In a city like Toronto, there's just too freaking many small mom and pop computer shops. Take a look. About a handful of them close their doors every 5 years or so, but a new wave of immigrants set up shop and make up for it. Having a lot of shops around simply means it's a bit tricky to find stores who don't rip people off based on various factors - among them, customers not being east Asian for instance.

BigBoy said,
Yet more fruit of Walmart domination really...

I don't think this has to do with wal-mart... more likely the internet and places like Newegg... wal-mart is not a great place for tech...

neufuse said,

I don't think this has to do with wal-mart... more likely the internet and places like Newegg... wal-mart is not a great place for tech...

Hmmm...

I guess you do not know that Walmart is about to overtake Best Buy as the #1 seller of electronics in US, if that did not already happen?

BigBoy said,

Hmmm...

I guess you do not know that Walmart is about to overtake Best Buy as the #1 seller of electronics in US, if that did not already happen?

The little electronics section in the back of Wal-Mart is going to outsell Best Buy? BB has more TV floor space than Wal-Mart has electronics space! They only carry like 2 video cards and they're 10 years old. CompUSA is going away because they have poor service, poor return policies and don't know what their customers want.

Over the next 2 years you will see most wal-mart stores reconfigure there layout to have there electronics department be about 20-30% of the store. Wal-Mart will buy there way into #2 spot, then work on Best Buys #1 spot after that. So yes wal-mart is always a problem. Wal-Mart / Sam's Club affect most markets.

BigBoy said,

Hmmm...

I guess you do not know that Walmart is about to overtake Best Buy as the #1 seller of electronics in US, if that did not already happen?

So?

ShiZZa said,
Over the next 2 years you will see most wal-mart stores reconfigure there layout to have there electronics department be about 20-30% of the store. Wal-Mart will buy there way into #2 spot, then work on Best Buys #1 spot after that. So yes wal-mart is always a problem. Wal-Mart / Sam's Club affect most markets.

Until I can go into Wal-Mart and buy a physics card... or Cables / cases... etc wal-mart won't be a true hardware store... stores like newegg are some of the biggest "computer hardware" stores out there not just sales of computers and some odd number of parts, but an entire selection which Wal-Mart will NEVER have unless they dedicate their entire store to it

Darn... They were pretty awesome too. Now there's just Staples, OfficeMax and (ew) Best Buy left for me. What horrible choices I have left! The latter one is the most technology-oriented, and the former two are not quite technology-oriented enough! *grumbles* Oh well. As others have said - here I come Newegg (or TigerDirect)

rpgfan said,
Darn... They were pretty awesome too. Now there's just Staples, OfficeMax and (ew) Best Buy left for me. What horrible choices I have left! The latter one is the most technology-oriented, and the former two are not quite technology-oriented enough! *grumbles* Oh well. As others have said - here I come Newegg (or TigerDirect)

Always newegg...

Glad to see it go. It;s one of those place that never really had anything on sale anymore.. they just marked everything down with cruddy rebates. back in 1999 i bought my 8x scsi burner there and i remember paying through the nose for it.

good riddence. I less store with rebates..

Have the same concept in my country but under the name CompAsia but closed down nationwide 3 years ago..

sad to see CompUSA to go as well

this is pretty big news (for once on neowin)
such a shame too

i cant say iv even been to a store, but i know they were big
wonder what the reason is for this was

I remember the times I had with thee....I was a lad, at the age of 10, credit-card-less and in need of RAM! CompUSA, I'll never forget those times... Now onto NewEgg!

DJ-Light,


The stores in PR are indeed closing as well. în 60 to 90 days, but could take longer.

phiberoptik,

CompUSA is the only retailer in PR where we can get recent technology immediately. You need to understand Puerto Rico's market before you accuse another forum member of not knowing how to read. If you read a little further than the second sentence you will see that they will also be selling the operation in "Select" key markets. The stores in PR operate independently from the main US Stores and they are doing pretty well down here. It is not beyond belief that these stores could have been part of the restructuring and sales plan mentioned in that same sentence.

Its too bad, it was the only computer store that was widespread enough that you could find it in most cities. Its not about buying from stores vs the internet, but being able to buy something on a moments notice , or bring something in for service on a moments notice. (also using the internet connection in their stores).

In Los Angeles (as well as a few other cities) we still have Fry's electronics though.

Will Microsoft now plan to have a store as a counterpart to the Apple store, carrying Windows compatible products?

They were always too expensive, so I stopped shopping there years ago. I shop at Fry's now or Best Buy if Fry's is out of stock on something I need and I am willing to pay a little bit more to have it now.