Print 16 comment(s) - last by Oregonian2.. on Jan 8 at 4:12 PM

Systemax adds the CompUSA brand to its empire

The downfall of CompUSA has been chronicled on DailyTech over the course of the past year. The news surrounding the demise of the company came to a head in early December when it was announced that CompUSA would close all of its stores during the opening months of 2008.

Earlier this month, DailyTech reported that TigerDirect was looking to purchase a few of the closing CompUSA stores in the Miami, Florida area. More evidence to support this claim came in the form of Wikipedia entries that had been created by none other than employees from CompUSA's U.S. headquarters in Addison, Texas.

That information is now official and Systemax, the parent company of TigerDirect, is indeed acquiring a number of CompUSA retail locations. Systemax will acquire 16 CompUSA locations, CompUSA's trademarks and will also acquire the website and operate it alongside

"Millions of loyal customers will come to the Systemax and TigerDirect family of businesses through this acquisition," said TigerDirect CEO Fiorentino said. "We anticipate hiring many experienced CompUSA employees, preserving hundreds of store management and sales positions and making us stronger and better in the process."

In addition, all existing TigerDirect stores will now be called CompUSA. "We have a terrific opportunity to continue the great CompUSA brand and establish a new heritage that will extend for generations to come," Fiorentino added.

The acquisition of CompUSA's trademarks and entities will cost Systemax an estimated $30 million USD.

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Seems odd to me.
By retrospooty on 1/7/2008 11:21:16 PM , Rating: 3
"In addition, all existing TigerDirect stores will now be called CompUSA. "We have a terrific opportunity to continue the great CompUSA brand and establish a new heritage that will extend for generations to come," Fiorentino added."

I had thought CompUSA had a horrible rep with their brand name. Everyone and their mothers knew not to shop there. I expected TD would have renamed the stores to some sort of storename with "tiger direct" in it. Kind of like going to your local Newegg outlet.

RE: Seems odd to me.
By allometry on 1/7/2008 11:36:24 PM , Rating: 2
I guess I disagree with you. I tend[ed] to by a lot of CompUSA branded hardware for minuscule computer upgrades, such as adding USB ports to a dated machine or maybe a parallel port for some grandparents who won't upgrade their printer for the brand new PC they got for Christmas.

I've always had tremendous success with the brand and have continue to buy whenever I needed that odd part, I guess you could say.

However, I do agree with you on the store name choice. They should have gone with a "tiger" name, in some capacity..

RE: Seems odd to me.
By Micronite on 1/7/2008 11:53:21 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, I believe his main point was about the store, not the hardware. Though I don't really believe it matters whose name is on the hardware. Did you really think that CompUSA manufactured it? No, you just bought it because it was cheap. I bet TigerDirect could create a brand call CompCrap and if it was the cheapest, I bet people would still buy CompCrap. As long as no real crap was involved, I probably would, too.

RE: Seems odd to me.
By roadrun777 on 1/7/2008 11:46:53 PM , Rating: 2
They may have had a horrible reputation for high prices, dishonoring extended warranties and upgrade plans, and aggressive selling techniques, but they did have a band name that was established within the business world. Some people forget that CompUSA also did OEM business, such as mass purchases and training users to use equipment purchased. That worked out well for the CompUSA business side, and I think that is why Tiger Direct is keeping the brand name, despite its reputation in the individual consumer retail market.

RE: Seems odd to me.
By Oregonian2 on 1/8/2008 4:11:10 PM , Rating: 2
Tiger Direct is keeping the brand name, despite its reputation in the individual consumer retail market.

Yes, "I don't care what they are saying about me, it's just good they're talking about me".

People know CcmpUSA.

RE: Seems odd to me.
By JoshuaBuss on 1/8/08, Rating: -1
RE: Seems odd to me.
By pugster on 1/8/2008 3:53:45 PM , Rating: 2
Compusa has already spent millions on Ads to build their name and reputation whereas Tigerdirect spent zero on ads to sell outdated stuff at higher prices. It is basically a steal for Tigerdirect to buy name alone for $30 million.

If there was a smart investor, they can be another newegg where they can sell stuff at higher volume, lower margins with low prices to further build their name and reputation.

TigerDirect => CompUSA
By InternetGeek on 1/7/2008 11:35:23 PM , Rating: 2
For some reason I tend to reject the idea of TigerDirect changing its name to CompUSA. I think it will actually hurt them. CompUSA was an eroding name, TigerDirect's name was only growing.

RE: TigerDirect => CompUSA
By MADAOO7 on 1/8/2008 3:37:28 AM , Rating: 2
They are only changing their store names, not the entire company. $30M is a deal too considering the brand recognition CompUSA has. I also think if you are going to take a risk like this, you better separate it from so you don't tarnish your already established reputation. You can always rebrand it back later. Simply put, CompUSA is a recognizable name to a larger population. I'm not saying it represents good service or anything of the like, but I know if I were to call up my dad and ask him if he knows who TigerDirect is, he'd surely answer, "Tiger Who?". Mention CompUSA, and he'll know what you're talking about. Even amongst college students, I know 80% of my colleagues would have no idea what TigerDirect is. I think $30 Million makes this a good gamble, worst case you close the stores and ship the products back to's warehouses.

RE: TigerDirect => CompUSA
By diego10arg on 1/8/2008 12:15:55 PM , Rating: 2
What about TigerUSA or CompuDirect?

Whatever, I would prefer the brand as "Growing TigerDirect" rather than "Big-closing-and-small-reopening CompUSA". Maybe they could keep all the locations as TigerDirect and deliver what you buy from there.

Either way 30M does not seem to be a huge amount when that includes 16 stores plus the brand name and the online site.

We will see.

RE: TigerDirect => CompUSA
By clovell on 1/8/2008 1:17:47 PM , Rating: 2
I've got to say I disagree. I haven't seen a fair deal on TigerDirect in years. The latest processors they have in stock are usually 5-6 months behind other retailers and their prices are 30-40% higher. Changing their name may allow them to shake the image of overpriced and late to the party.

Extended Warranty Sales Pitch
By roadrun777 on 1/7/2008 11:34:44 PM , Rating: 2
I hope they do well. It would be nice to see a retail outlet for system builders that have all the things you normally have to purchases online. My only problem with the old CompUSA were the aggressive policies they used to try to sell extended warranties. They would take money away from employees if they didn't sell enough extended warranties, and that painted a very unpleasant picture of the management.
I just hope they have competitive prices that compare to online stores. I haven't bought personal computer items from a retail store in many years. This has mainly been because of the excellent high resolution images provided for online shoppers, and the excellent way the reviews of each product are handled. It always seemed to me, that the major retail stores always censored, or outright denied customers, the ability to share their experiences of purchased products with other potential customers even if those reviews where negative.

RE: Extended Warranty Sales Pitch
By mmntech on 1/8/2008 9:07:51 AM , Rating: 2
It depends what you're buying. There are a few TigerDirect stores in Ontario. There's one in Toronto, Mississauga, and Burlington. I think there's one in Markham as well. I find their everyday parts to be cheap. Stuff like keyboards, printers, power supplies, coolers, etc. Stuff like graphics cards, hard drives, motherboards, and memory are overpriced. I buy that stuff from NCIX since I don't have to pay PST on it.

Yep, they do do the extended warranty stunt too at the stores. They tried to sell me one on a $40 wireless keyboard and mouse combo I bought from them last time I was there. I've yet to encounter an electronics store that doesn't do this though I've never heard of them docking their employees' pay for not selling enough of them. That sounds illegal.

So, which 16 stores did they buy?
By Spacecomber on 1/8/2008 10:39:21 AM , Rating: 2
I kind of doubt that they picked up my local store, but I'm still wondering.

By Oregonian2 on 1/8/2008 4:12:15 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure they didn't pick mine. I've a Fry's about 20 minutes away.

By wwwebsurfer on 1/8/2008 1:23:22 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately I have to agree that the CompUSA name is the better choice. The local TigerDirect outlet is no where near a polished retail outlet. It's more like a warehouse, with merchandise organized by section... then by pile. Even though CompUSA has been poor as of recent, their image as a full-featured retail outlet is still there. Hopefully the 'new management' can turn this around and bring CompUSA back to it's shining glory. Bring back those crazy cheap prices, I'll mail them rebates in till Jesus comes back. One for me, one for... um... grandma, and one for... the neighbor.

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