AutoZone could use the room

The Consumerist reported this week that CompUSA will be closing about 100 stores, which wouldn’t seem like such a big deal except for the fact that CompUSA has only 229 stores, meaning that almost half of their locations are on the chopping block.

I suspect the Oklahoma City store is doomed, for the following reasons:

  • There are other big-box electronics stores close by: Best Buy is five blocks away, Circuit City about a mile.
  • Rather a lot of people you think are store personnel are actually manufacturers’ reps brought in to hype their lines, who turn out to be less than helpful.
  • A substantial percentage of the geek community shops at we-build-’em shops like PC Club, which is also close by.
  • And an even more substantial percentage of the geek community says “Why go outside?” and orders the same stuff online.

A Gizmodo commenter adds:

Their marketing model seems to be to charge 10% more than anywhere else, and give you a rebate for the difference, which never arrives.

Nice work if you can get it, I suppose.

Update, 3:45 pm, 27 February: The Oklahoma City store has been spared. This is the new list, pared down. (Via the Consumerist.)


  1. McGehee »

    25 February 2007 · 6:48 pm

    CompUSA still has stores?

    (Er, I mean, it’s been twelve and a half years since I lived in a town that had one.)

  2. Matt »

    25 February 2007 · 8:22 pm

    The Apple “store within a store” was important in OKC until the actual Apple Store opened about 18 months ago.

    CompUSA actually sells some big-name important checklist items at above retail price and hopes you won’t notice. I had to get a copy of a FileMaker Pro upgrade on short notice a year or two ago, and while retail price was $149, they had it priced at $179. Even when I pointed out to the store manager that it was $30 above the stated retail price (they had machines on the internets there), they refused to change it even to the overpriced retail price, much less match competitor’s pricing of about $135.

    I didn’t buy it.

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