Out of Dallas comes word that CompUSA,the 103-store chain that has been struggling in recent years, will cease operations after this Holiday season.
While I genuinely feel sad for store employees who will have to look for another job, that's the only reason for regret I can muster.
I haven't shopped there in years. Why? Because I haven't had a reason to.
Face it. CompUSA has been outgunned by nimbler operations. You have Best Buy, with their quite capable in-store and house-call Geek Squad service, Staples, Office Depot and Office Max for their greater penetration into neighborhoods where many of us live; Fry's Electronics for those of us who like to shop for everything from PDAs to refrigerators and HD televisions in an almost festive, big box environment.
And did I mention the Internet, for those quick purchases?
CompUSA never offered a comprehensive solution for today's multi-gadget, multi-platform, multi-machine digital lifestyle. Devices were available, but not so much the parts to make them work. I mean, go into Fry's and you'll see more electronic gear SKUs than this side of Graybar Electric.
And when it comes to customer support, CompUSA has always struck me with their bored, inattentive, relatively informed and underpopulated floor staff. Compare that to Best Buy and Fry's, where I have always found the sales and support folks eager and attentive.
And on the enteprise side of the equation? Although I've never used CompUSA Tech Pro, I could see how a business owner or exec would snicker at the notion of using retail-based help rather than the better skilled and frequently certified (Microsoft, Cisco, etc.) solution providers available to them than representatives of a computer chain that is behind the times in terms of inventory, expertise and basically being with it.
Or make that was behind the times. Sounds like a month from now, CompUSA will only be a memory.
And not a good one.
Will you miss CompUSA?