Sat
Dec 8 2007
09:14 am

CompUSA is closing the last of its retail stores after the end of the year. (There might be some bargains at the West Knoxville store if you hurry.)

This is a little sad in an "end of an era" sort of way, but CompUSA has been increasingly irrelevant with stores like Staples and Office Depot and Circuit City and Best Buy carrying most of the same inventory, or at least top sellers in the same product categories.

And those stores sell other, higher margin items to help pay the rent while CompUSA stuck to selling commodity products that people are increasingly buying over the internet. At least that's my analysis.

I think the last thing I bought at CompUSA was an external eSATA hard drive that nobody else carried locally. All the local Best Buy and Circuit City stores have them in stock now. I think every router and cable and add-on network card or USB device in my home/office came from either Staples or Office Depot. The last few memory and hard drive upgrades have come from those places, too. I buy software mostly over the internet, and the only other thing I've had to order because I couldn't find it locally was a SCSI hard drive for a server.

The last time I checked, CompUSA had a better selection of printers and supplies like inks and papers than the other stores, but that's about the only advantage I could see. They had a lot of accessories like video adapters and DVD drives, but they also had a lot of cheap junk while the other stores only seem to carry the top selling, most widely known brands and maybe one discount junk version.

So I guess I won't really miss CompUSA, but it's sad to see them go.

(By way of JAH)

101
like
Andy Axel's picture

The store I love to

The store I love to hate.

Hope nobody bought those "extended care plans" from them.

But yeah, it's about high time for them to fold.

CompUSA had a better selection of printers and supplies like inks and papers than the other stores, but that's about the only advantage I could see.

They're also an Apple reseller. They're not a great one, but they at least provide some competitive balance (at least locally) to the boutique stores and the Apple retail location.

Oh, and my company had a cost-plus deal with them. Flash your employee badge and buy stuff for like cost plus 10 points. That was a helluva deal on items like bare hard drives.

____________________________

With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.

redmondkr's picture

I was given a $25 CompUSA

I was given a $25 CompUSA gift card several years ago. I kept thinking that one day I might wander into their store again and use it. By now its value has probably been eaten up by the fine print anyway.

Add to that the fact that I would as soon take a beating as drive in West Knoxville and it's hardly worth the bother.

I'll just keep it in the desk drawer with my old Miller's charge card.


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Wearybottom Associates

Pam Strickland's picture

Bought my MacBook there

I bought my MacBook there. Had held on as long as I could waiting for the Intel chips. I don't like making big purchases over the internet, and it was going to be about six weeks before the mall store opened. A did computer isn't good in my line of work. Yeah, I could have gone boutique, but they weren't getting them as fast as CompUSA.

And, I remembered the minute I walked in the place, why I hated it. Playing loud obnoxious music. When I asked simple questions about both the Macs and various printers, they kept having to find someone else to give me replies. Just real pains in the rear. Some kid kept telling me that what I really needed was to spend $600 more for the MacBook Pro because of it's superb graphics capibility. When I asked him why I needed that, he said for games. My response: Do I look like a gamer? For the record, I am a, throat clearing here, middle-aged fat woman, a little bohemian. The only game I play on the computer is the odd insomnia cure solitaire.

I finally just turned around and left. But on the way out, I ran into a guy I knew who it turned out was the retail manager at the store. I explained my experience, and he told me who to talk to. The guy was at lunch, so my friend called him and we set up an appointment for me to come in and get everything taken care of. By that time they'd sold out of their first order, but I still got what I needed taken care of and was put on the wait list. Had everything -- from the computer to external monitor and a wireless router -- within 48 hours.

I briefly looked at printers -- still haven't bought one -- and was impressed by their stock, but not necessarily their prices or, the above mentioned customer service. I went in a few months ago looking for a digital recorder, and was initially told that they didn't have them. When they were found, no one in the store could answer my questions. I ended up buying one at Office Depot, but it had awkward controls, so I took it back.

Of course, now, if I have a computer problem, which isn't often, I take it to the Genius Bar at the Mall. I'm mostly impressed by them. But the one repair I had went to the place on Broadway, who are also geniuses. Afterall, the kept my seven-year-old iMac going for two years longer than anyone expected.

Sad to see that the people who work at CompUSA will be without jobs. Not a good thing in this economy.

Pam Strickland

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." ~Kurt Vonnegut

Factchecker's picture

And, I remembered the minute

And, I remembered the minute I walked in the place, why I hated it. Playing loud obnoxious music.

Then how do you feel about BestBuy (ugh!)? Do you think these kind of places meet OSHA limits? (It's been so long since I've been to CompUSA, I don't remember hearing any music there.)

It also doesn't help that that shopping center is one of those cursed areas, especially with Turkey Creek continuing to expand w/ stores like HHGregg's (never been to). I wonder if even the Kroger there does much business anymore--it used to be one of their busiest. Home Depot gets by because it's Home Depot, even though they still seem to ignore customers a lot worse that at Lowe's.

Pam Strickland's picture

In the three years since I

In the three years since I moved back to East Tennessee, I've been to Best Buy exactly twice. Once with a friend who was on leave from her relieve work in Africa and needed a digital camera. I just followed her around and prayed that I didn't get so aggravated that I said something that would embarrass us all. The second was when I went looking for the digital recorder. I'm afraid that my patience didn't last very long that day. I'm sure I won't be going back again any time soon, and they probably have a picture of me in security saying I should be treated gently.

pgs

Pam Strickland

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." ~Kurt Vonnegut

Anonymous's picture

The Way the World Is Headed

The world is shifting towards buying online through a web site programmed in India, the product built in China or Mexico, shipped from god knows where, and the only human American employee involved will be the UPS driver that drops it on your doorstep.

Teach your kids how to drive delivery trucks.

R. Neal's picture

Teach your kids how to drive

Teach your kids how to drive delivery trucks.

Heh.

Or plumbing. Kinda hard to outsource plumbing.

metulj's picture

Feh. I am cutting our whole

Feh. I am cutting our whole house over to PEX. As I remodel a room with water service, I pull a new homerun to the manifold. Screw plumbers.

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

smalc's picture

And it won't be stolen by

And it won't be stolen by copper thieves.

metulj's picture

The cool thing is that you

The cool thing is that you pile the old copper up (in a place where meth heads can't find it) then take in to the recycler when it is time for a new pair of hiking boots or a plane ticket to see Mom.

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

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