News - Tiger to not only buy CompUSA stores, but also keep CompUSA name

Tiger to not only buy CompUSA stores, but also keep CompUSA name

The fact that CompUSA has given up the fight against rivals like Best Buy and Circuit City is no longer breaking news, nor is the recent reports of TigerDirect's parent company "Systemax" has decided to buy a number of CompUSA's retail outlets during Gordon Brothers Group's fire sale.  But what is news, at least to me, is that Systemax is not planning on changing these stores over to TigerDirect Outlet stores.  They have bought the CompUSA name and plan to keep the stores under the CompUSA moniker.

For those familiar with TigerDirect's outlet stores, to say that their business model is the antithesis of CompUSA's is a gross understatement. 

Tiger Direct's outlet stores are, as the name applies, an outlet for retail customers to buy products from TigerDirect's website at a brick and mortar.  Not often have I seen web prices on computer peripherals in retail outlets unless the product was on special or ladened with mail in rebates, but Tiger's stores somehow manages to maintain rows and rows of computer enthusiast products at reasonable prices.

The fact that CompUSA has given up the fight against rivals like Best Buy and Circuit City is no longer breaking news, nor is the recent reports of TigerDirect's parent company "Systemax" has decided to buy a number of CompUSA's retail outlets during Gordon Brothers Group's fire sale.  But what is news, at least to me, is that Systemax is not planning on changing these stores over to TigerDirect Outlet stores.  They have bought the CompUSA name and plan to keep the stores under the CompUSA moniker.  Even the employees at these aquired stores will get to keep their positions and an estimated dozen jobs will be created at the corporate level.

Tom Spring of PC World caught up with Gilbert Fiorentino, CEO of TigerDirect, at CES on Monday.  Portions of their conversation were published at Tom's PC World Blog.

Although I look forward to having more Tiger Direct-type stores across the country, I can't help but to be concerned for Tiger shaking the CompUSA stigma of limited selection, high prices and poor service. 

While Mr. Fiorentino's statement of "TigerDirect knows how to do customer service." may envoke snickers from some, the idea that CompUSA's service is or was any better is highly debatable.  One thing remains true; there is room for improvement all through and I, for one, am curious to see how this works out for CompUSA, TigerDirect and their customers.

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Printer Friendly(Author: jonny - On Tue, Jan-08-2008)

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