EXCLUSIVE: CompUSA Closing 100 Stores

CompUSA will close 100 stores this year, according to an industry insider speaking to us under conditions of anonymity.

Currently, CompUSA has 229 stores.

News of the shuttering comes after recent corporate restructuring, and a swirl of rumors in recent weeks about the ailing retailer. One was that CompUSA might get a $400 million-plus infusion from Mr. Carlos Slim, Mexican billionaire chain owner. Another one posited that the retailer might buy, or be bought by, Tiger Direct.

Hammered by competition from Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Circuit City, and internet retailers, and burdened by over $100 million in unsalesable store inventory, Mr. Slim evidently thinks CompUSA’s chances at recovery too narrow.

This bodes well for shoppers. Can we say fire sale? — BEN POPKEN





Edit Your Comment

  1. faust1200 says:

    The weak shall perish. Good riddance.

  2. Sandy Magic Jackson says:

    What, do they have $100M worth of Tandys? How can you have that much unsellable inventory?

  3. pe_tor says:

    Last time a ComiUSA (my friends and I call it that after some of the lights burned out in the P once, leaving giant red letters COMI, which we thought was somewhat funny, though not as funny as home depot becoming the “HO POT”) near me closed down, the clearance sale on most items was still more expensive than the deals one can frequently find online from various stores.
    So if one of these stores dies near you, don’t go impulse buying, check prices vs. online retailers, especially since clearance sales are usually non-returnable.

  4. rubberpants says:

    That’s too bad. I liked CompUSA. At least compared to Best Buy.

  5. gorckat says:

    Wow. I used to work for them. They’re insistence on selling crappy warranty and rewarding such sales (sometimes the salesperson got as much as 20% of the retail cost of the warranty) above and beyond good old-fashioned, knowledgable, courteous and sincere service.

    Plus, their rebates sucked. Hard. There were always problems with them. And for a ‘computer store’ they sure were slow adopting some of the register, inventory and website enhancements that other places did.

    I think store locations also hurt them. In the Baltimore market, 2 stores (Towson and Columbia) are in/near affluent and upper middle class neighborhoods.

    The one in Glen Burnie languished with sales about 50% or less of the other two. It was in a lower/lower-middle class community. If they moved the store 20 minutes south (not far, but far enough) they could have tapped the state capital’s government and commercial markets as well as a higher income residential population and have been accessible to people coming across the Bay Bridge from the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

    Instead, all those people can go to the Best Buy in Annapolis.

    Oh- and their retarded markup on cheap cables didn’t help. 100 foot ethernet cable? $100.00 (store cost- ~$20). Printer cable? $30 (store cost ~$9, and sold by every other store in the area for $12-15). So many people looked at the prices and went across the street to Best Buy, despite the fact that the common cables could be price matched (without even a phone call because we knew what they sold for).

  6. Sixdust says:

    Anyone have a list of these stores? If that’s how it is outside the stores, I’d get my truck, get gassed up, and take everything possible. If not, at least some great sales.

  7. magellan says:

    They have already closed some stores in the Chicago suburbs. Naperville and I believe Downers Grove are already bye-bye.

  8. Itch says:

    Looks like you can find out which ones are selling what from the locations page:


    Choose the location and the next page has a specific page for their blowout.

  9. Skamandrios says:

    I’m not surprised. The last time I went to a CompUSA to see some sample printer output, a kid came up and immediately started hawking the extended warranty! He did not ask me what I was looking for in a printer, what system I had, nothing. It was the first thing out of his mouth: You should buy this extended warranty, and you’ll get a free USB cable. This before I had even selected a model! I asked which printers had an ethernet port and he panicked and went to find someone who could help me. I chuckled and left the store and never went back.

    I agree about their rebates too. Receiving the highly touted (by CompUSA) rebate on my Samsung monitor took 8 months and bulldog-like tenacity on my part, although I finally prevailed (through no help of CompUSA who said repeatedly, “It’s Samsung’s problem.”)

    Ditto: Good riddance.

  10. bdgbill says:

    Too bad. Brick and mortar stores where you can pick up computer guts fast are getting few and far between.

    I liked CompUSA and have bought a couple of systems from them. I have noticed a decline in the last year or two as they tried to remake themselves into a home electronics store.

    A few days ago I was practically laughed at by a Best Buy employee when I asked if they had any RAID controller cards in stock. Where will we go now?

  11. robrob says:

    bill: chicago compusa was pretty crappy about stocking partss. A much better bet in chicago would be microcenter. if you dont have microcenter, maybe Frys?

    too bad newegg cant/wont rollout retail stores :/

  12. XopherMV says:

    Selling computer parts is a completely cutthroat business where everyone, even the big boys like CompUSA, have a hard time selling anything. Their product is already obsolete by the time they buy it from the manufacturer and prices are always going down. Unless they run a real lean and tight ship, they can’t make a profit.

    Computer stores are especially brutal because unlike internet stores, they can’t sell what they don’t have. That means they have to have a huge amount of inventory for EACH store. An internet company like Dell makes your computer when you order it and can consolidate any non-custom items in central warehouses.

    That said, I can’t feel sorry for CompUSA. Their management should have seen this coming from a mile away and taken steps to make things better. Their prices were always far, far more than their competition. I just had to laugh when I went in there. Their management could have taken any number of steps to tighten things up there so they could lower their prices, but that just didn’t happen.

    If anything, I feel sorry for the average workers there who are going to be out of a job. It sucks to lose your only source of income, even if it is for a company with bad management.

  13. Firedart says:

    Robrob, Newegg USED TO BE a brick and mortar so the likelihood of them rolling out again in the “real world” is pretty slim. Anybody remember Egghead stores??

    CompUSA sucks here in the PDX area. There are three and with the exception of one in Tigard(SW Portland) they are pretty weak. We usually head to Frys in Wilsonville to get guts. Long drive but at least there is a selection of product on both price points and quality.

    Toodles Comp. Newegg ROCKS for price and Frys is close enough for an instant gratification run…

  14. rbf2000 says:


    $9 cost of that USB cable? Try $2. At least, that is about the cost that Circuit City pays for those cables. I can’t imagine that CC gets that much of a better deal than CompUSA. Although, if they did, it would certainly be a good reason for CompUSA to be closing down.

  15. magic8ball says:

    “Carlos Slim”? That cannot possibly be his real name.

  16. takn says:

    I put a curse on CrompUSA back in 2000. After I quit compUSA and was serving out my 2 week sentence err notice, they fired me with two days left! because i was late!

    So a double curse on them and may the remaining stores burn to the ground.

  17. takn says:

    Hehe i used to make a hefty profit buying things like printer cables (~$2 @cost and reselling them for $10. Store price: $18)

  18. Trai_Dep says:

    Aren’t CompUSA part of the Wherehouse/Good Guys/CompUSA trilogy of suckitude? Did they partner, or were they all part of the same disfunctional family of inept execs?

    Too bad the rank n file have to pay for a stunningly bad job of reading the market, then executing.

  19. mindshadow says:

    I used to work that the CompUSA in that picture. Hoover, AL, right by the Galleria. Wow, I can’t express how much I hated the management at that place. The sales manager got caught stealing. D’oh. :P

    I always thought CompUSA needed to work on their store asthetics. When you walk into Best Buy and Circuit City the asthetics of the stores are just way more than CompUSA. That goes a long way for average Joe Know-Nothing.

  20. bruceb17 says:

    Here’s my funny CompUSA story:

    I was needing to extend the reach of my firewire cable. I stopped a CompUSA sales-maton in the aisle and expressed my need. This guy started spewing how those things are expensive and hard to come by. He said if I can find a firewire extender at all, expect to pay at least $150.

    While he was talking, I happened to glance over to my left. Hanging on the wall right there was a Firewire powered hub for about $50. Which is all I needed (plus an extra FW cable) to lengthen my reach.

    Do you have to pass some stupidity test to work in these stores? Not that Circuit City, Best Buy, et al are any better in this respect.

  21. bruceb17 says:

    PS to my CompUSA story.

    I’m a Mac guy. I did appreciate that they not only had a Mac section of the store, but they had a full time Mac guy who was fairly up on Mac hardware/software. The guy was never pushy. Just knew his stuff.

    For that, I’ll be sorry if my local CompUSA closes. The closest Apple store is about 80 miles away.

  22. joeuser says:

    CompUSA is so stupid their website doesn’t even list the store 2 miles away from me! (Yes, it’s still open, just went by it today.)


  23. Keter says:

    Jeez, I sure hope they don’t close “my” CompUSA (Austin Arboretum). I’ve had awesome service and advice from that store, and everything else nearby sux uber hard. I worked with their corporate office in a consulting role last year, and they seemed to be really committed to improving customer service. It may be the only way they can get control over those locations is to clean house. As recent stories about renegade Blockbuster stores demonstrate, it’s possible that the bad customer experiences are due to bad local management.

  24. davebolin says:

    They need to go under. They have crap customer service and the corporate office treated the customer even worse.

  25. kwiebe says:

    I can’t believe this didn’t happen years ago. Their prices have never been any good, and after following the link to view an example of what their “blowout” items are/how much they’re discounting, I’m still unimpressed. Nothing but a bunch of junk no one wants that’s STILL overpriced. My fav story though, is when I bought a cell phone there (I think it was mispriced). It was advertised with a free charger. They handed me the free charger on the way out the door, but I decided to check the connector. It didn’t fit. After unsuccessfully searching their stock of chargers, the clerk proclaimed, “This is the charger you get with this phone.” She was not moved by my objection that the free charger offered with a cell phone in an ad should actually FIT THE CELL PHONE. As it turned out, they didn’t even *stock* a charger for that phone.

  26. AcidReign says:

    @mindshadow: You aren’t the tech at the Galliarrhea CompUSA who tried to tell me that I could plug DDR into a PC-133 ram slot, were you?

  27. iworkthere says:

    “One was that CompUSA might get a $400 million-plus infusion from Mr. Carlos Slim”

    Not rumor – CUSA received 440m from Grupo Carso @ 2 weeks ago.

    Today, 40% of the corporate work staff was laid off. Entire depts were let go.

    CUSA has 225 stores at the moment (4 were closed a week or two ago) and the final tally could be as many as 125 stores closed.

  28. bobjr94 says:

    Theres not much I buy there anymore. I use to stop in all the time, use to like it when stuff would ring up cheaper then the shelf price for no reason, had that happen alot actually.

    There price on components(cpu,m/b’s,power supplies, etc) are way more expensive that your average small computer hardware only store and compusa might only have a few different mb/s and 2 or 3 power supplies.

    On accesories they(and most other big box stores) rip you off, wanting 19.99$ for a gold high speed usb cable when you can get one at a small store for 3.99$, or maybe 4.99 at walmart.

    Maybe thats because these large super stores and chains buy in very large quantities, take a long time to order there stock, let it sit in there wharehouses and trucks and then finally send it to the store. In the mean time the price has dropped 10-30% and the smaller stores who carry much less stock and reorder often always getting the newest price.

    Oddly enough they lost my business to smaller stores, not bigger and not the internet.

  29. fencepost says:

    In the Chicago area there are at least two options if you’re willing to drive a bit further.

    In the Naperville area there’s a TigerDirect showroom where you can pick up most of what they carry (and if you’re ordering in that area you can probably get it next-day with just ground shipping). There’s also a Graybar showroom close by so you can get your network cable, jacks, etc.

    If you’re north there’s always CDW in Vernon Hills – their prices are higher, but they usually have just about anything you’d need for business purchasing where TigerDirect is more hit and miss for some odd items (like a tractor-feed carriage for a dot-matrix printer).

  30. misterbill says:

    I don’t believe that CompUSA sells their cables for a higher price than the comparable stores (Best Buy, Circuit City, Staples, etc.). The stores often make more money on the USB cable than they do on printers.

    I’ll certainly miss them if they close my local store. Sure, they suck at times (like when I place an order for pickup and it’s still not pulled a day later) but they have good occassional good deals. And for those of us who don’t have Frys, it will leave us with CC and BB.

  31. misterbill says:

    I believe that all of the stores have blowout lists. They’ve had them for a while.

  32. gizmofo says:


  33. Smethwickman says:

    Forget any notion of a firesale – they’ll bring in a liquidator to get the max they can for product in inventory. Product that the liquidator rejects, will either be trashed, donated or sold on to consumers, the latter of whom should stay the hell away. Unless, of course, they are in the market for a Cue Cat.

    Anyway, the roots in ChumpUSA’s demise, and, make no mistake, this is a huge corporate failure, lie in the late ’90s/early 00’s when Grupo Sanborn failed to prune all of the dead wood. Instead, they let old stalwarts run the company and did so without any notion of a strategy, meaningful budget, accountablity, business plan or overall clue as to how to respond to competitive threats – not only from online retailers, Best Buy and Circuit City – but the likes of WalMart and Costco.

    Money was spent recklessly, nepotism ran riot, the abuse of power and employees went largely unpunished. Its supply chain was rotten, cost structure bloated and lack of focus legendary.

    It was a rat-hole of a place to work and while my heart goes out to those who lost their jobs today [about 500 of the 1000 at the corporate location] in time they’ll quickly realize that they are much better off.

    The tragic irony, of course, is that those who are personally responsible for this debacle are tucked up safe and sound with their millions stuffed under the mattress of their king size bed in their king-sized, 7 bedroom, Willow Bend McMansions. Meanwhile, many who followed and believed in the executive team, worked their butts off for them, covered up their excesses, and kept the faith when all hope had long since evaporated, are staring at the ceiling right about now wondering how they’ll pay the damn mortgage.

  34. Britt-Kat says:

    CompUSA isn’t bad at all. I have been working there for a few months now and while some stores might have bad sales people and management that doesn’t mean that all of them do. And if anyone noticed there are a total of like three stores that about 50 people have complained about. Maybe people just shouldn’t go to those specific locations. And if something isn’t in stock you aren’t out of luck. We can actually put in an online order in the store and it will be shipped to you over night for free. And the mark-up on cables and stuff like that is not as high as most people are saying. And the whole thing about CompUSA turning into a home electronics store is because we bought out Good Guys and that’s where all the TV’s and everything came from. It wasn’t CompUSA trying to be like every other store.

  35. Dovo says:

    How it’s possible that that retail store has stayed in business for this long shocks me. It is easily one of the most corrupt businesses in the country. I’m suprised it’s even staying in business at all.

  36. sdlcman says:

    The one near me has things you can’t find in Best Buy or Circuit City, but the prices are generally high.

    I recently bought a laptop, but not from CompUSA. They had nothing remotely of interest under $1000. Their cheap laptops really looked cheap, had 256M of memory, 40GB HD, and had XP Home loaded on them. What a joke!

    I actually found some good bargains in Circuit City, but did not buy from them because of the familiar Circuit City mantra, there’s none in stock, you’ll have to take the one on display.

    In the end, I bought a Lenova from Office Depot, loaded with features for under a grand.

  37. silvercain says:

    Comp USA Sucks. I’m glad they are going out of business. The Prices are High, the service is bad, and they don’t have the latest equipment/components. The only reason I used them in the past is that they were the first big Electronics Store in my area (other than Radio Shack). Now we have Fry’s, Best Buy, Circuit City, Officemax, Staples,Office Depot, etc.), so we don’t need Comp. USA. Good Riddance. I hope they have a fire sale at the Oxnard Store. Maybe I can find some good deals.

  38. jdspider says:

    Last time I was in CompUSA I asked a clerk where to find the 3.5 floppy drives. He asked “what do you need that for?” I replied, “to read a 3.5 floppy drive.” What else can I say? This tells the whole story.

  39. Serolf Divad says:

    I think CompUSA might get more casual customers if their floor model/closeout sales weren’t such a ripoff. I feel sorry for anyone buying a floor model at CompUSA with the false expectation that they’re getting a good deal. In fact, simply seeing what they’re asking for these items leaves a bad taste in my mouth whenever I walk into my local store.

  40. DireHawk says:

    Not sure how this “bodes well” for shoppers. In the short run maybe, but in the long run this leaves CC and BB as a main source for computer components.

    So get your deals , sell the stuff on EBAY and then next black friday I can come listen to you bitch because there are not hot deals.

  41. TDF2007 says:

    Used to work there, knew all of the management team. It was the most amazing example of promotion by incompetence. They would routinely promote individuals that had no experience in their new responsibilities. The higher the position the less any kind of expertise or competence mattered. The entire management team was selected specifically for stupidity and incompetence. The prior CEO and his predecesser must have thought this would save them!

    The new CEO apparently “gets it” hence his firing all the execs. Unfortunatley it is not enough, it will be necessary to replace virtually all management down to the department head level in all the stores. They have all been contaminated by an enforced program of willful stupidity.

    The best option is to liquidate everything while there is still something to liquidate. Otherwise it will take another 5 years, another $1 Billion, a new name and virtually all new employees at all levels to rebuild a viable company. And in the meantime Walmart, Best Buy, Circuit City and Fry’s continue to capture more of the market.


  42. gkantz says:

    In Chicago, Downers Grove, Naperville and now Skokie are already gone. Surprising because the one closest to me is Highland Park and that store is almost always empty! They’re just too darn expensive, and they can no longer compete with Best Buy, Circuit City and online retailers. Too bad – it once was one of my favorite geek-out places to shop and browse.

    Is ist true Fatboy Slim may give them $400 Million? ;)

  43. Galvanized says:

    If your CompUSA is like our near home, it’s way too pushy on buying their warranties. Both times when I have gone there and made a great deal on a computer-related purchase, the salesperson was very helpful UNTIL I politely declined to purchase the warranty with the product. One of the salesmen even left me to myself to carry out my computer to my car after making a very rude remark to the cashier about my deficient intellect in declining the warranty, and she said nothing to correct it — to either him or me. Snobbery just doesn’t sell, no matter how great the ads.

  44. Do2 says:

    Can we suggest a similar fate to Sprint? Oh wait, first they have to lose billions of stockholder dollars first.

    Let’s find inspriration in the waste of CompUSA and pray that Sprint meets a similar fate.

  45. cputersmartz says:

    I would like to say that CompUSA is a good store, to work at and to shop. Yeah, not always do the employee’s make a good impression, like the customer who dealt with a teeny bopper who only tried to sell the extended warranties. Can you really judge upon one single person? Especially because it was a kid who didn’t know squat about anything. How stupid. You’re always going to have some bad apple no matter where you go shopping: Bestbuy, Circuit city, wal-mart, Fry’s, Target, etc. So for you stupid people out there that don’t like CompUSA because of a few idiots they ran against, try getting info from people from Bestbuy–I’ve been told they don’t know anything!!! So what about the Geeksquad. They come to CompUSA because they don’t have the knowledge or the parts. How silly is that? If CompUSA goes under, and there is’t a CompUSA anymore, will Sam’s club people help you, except to save $10? They sell certain items at a profit to stay in business, and most of the computers are sold at a very small margin. I suppose everyone expects to get everything for free. Good luck in getting help from “super-discounters” because those people who really know what they’re talking about will not be there. In my experience more people know what they’re talking about than those who don’t. And they pay more than the other competitors. Don’t you think it’s only fair to say that they want to take care of business, and employees, too? Some day people will be singing the song that says “You don’t know what you got till it’s gone…”

  46. FOUL says:


  47. gidyuppp says:

    Comp hired the same guy from Apple who put in the Apple ASC’s about 2 years ago to change the atmosphere in the store..new folks were hired..he put in a genius bar..the customers loved it, the employees loved it and the store was selling more…my store was part of a 15 store test and it never expanded for whatever reason…they were on the right track and didn’t even know it.

  48. trask42 says:

    I worked for the company for a couple years and, a year after our awesome GM left, the store started to go downhill.

    Sales sucked, morale just wasn’t where it should have been, it was terrible.

    The new GM, while nice, was in complete and total denial, towing the company line like a faithful lapdog.

    I was promised a promotion to be a Customer Service Manager and was one for one month…I never got paid for it and the GM treated me like complete shit

    Turns out our Regional Manager was a complete dick who had NO interest in seeing me in that spot and he told my GM she needed to hire somebody else.

    Of course, they could have been honest and told me that the RM wasn’t interested in seeing me as a manager…but, they didn’t. Instead, being the unprofessional pricks that they are, every single manager hid that from me and was secretly hiring somebody else behind my back.

    Payback is a bitch and so is karma.

    Good riddance to a company who treated their employees like dirt (I’m only one story) for the mighty dollar.

  49. speed45 says:

    Hey I work for the West Palm Beach store in Florida. The only stores closing in Florida are the following 2 stores:
    Melbourne, FL store number 613 at 2400 West New Haven Avenue
    Melbourne, FL 32904

    and the other store is

    Miami – The Falls store number 627 at 8851 S.W. 136th Street
    Miami, FL 33176

    Right now out of the 228 or 229 stores that were out there to start with there are now only 100 stores left. Good luck to everyone else out there I hope they stop this as for now I has made it through this wave of closing store locations. There was a total of 128 store closings if you look here


    this is the list of all 100 stores that are going to be staying open. But I have heard that CompUSA might buy out TigerDirect or TigerDirect might buy out CompUSA but who knows at this moment. But as I have heard there was a total of 26 regions and now there are only 4 regions left. That’s all for now from #611 in West Palm Beach.

  50. mindshadow says:

    @AcidReign: Nah, I was a salesbot for a while before moving to merchandising. The techs at Comp were… lacking at times. There was one or two good techs, but sometimes they would get some absolute shit techs working back there.

  51. pbco2001 says:

    Will the last one to leave Detroit please turn out the lights!

    5 stores in the area, all of them off the survivors list. Nearest remaining is Lansing, Mi 120 miles away. But then there is a MicroCenter just down the street from one of the closed CompUSA’s. at 14 Mile and I 75.

    I used to shop there, and I never understood their business model. Giving stuff away for free after rebate. Admittedly there were some problems with rebates getting fulfilled, but that was before the FTC “Cleaned their Clock”
    How do you say consent decree, and rebate fraud!
    Recently they have been great on rebates, i just cashed a check, hope it doesn’t bounce!

  52. djson1 says:

    I’m so glad they are closed down! They had the worst customer service. I once reserved a laptop online with my credit card and drove 25 miles to pick it up. Guess what? They sold it to another customer and couldn’t even offer me a raincheck. Stupid assess! That’s no way to run a business….as you learned. Haha~

  53. fb1972 says:

    Former CUSA worker at #397 (Glen Burnie MD) and #147 (Duluth GA), both on the hit-list. Worked there for 7 years.

    While it’s a shame that this had to happen, in truth I’ve seen it coming for years. The stories about double-dealing management and unfair hiring/termination practices are all true – it was certainly the case in my tenure there. And a place like CUSA isn’t going to survive when there are so many online retailers now, with better prices and savvy technical support. I used to refer to CUSA as “the McDonald’s of the computer industry”, and that’s just what it turned out to be – robot employees, uncaring management, items not worth their inflated cost (and it was inflated, I assure you – a 2.00 cable would be priced at 19.95, unfeckinreal).

    I feel bad for the people who are left behind in all of this. One of the people that I worked with in #147 is still working at a location in Maryland – luckily, that one will stay open – for now – but what about the future? What about the people who lost their jobs today, and the possible loss later on? They’re the ones that lost out here, and continue to lose, not the customers or the management.

    Sad. But not surprising, really.

  54. DcSka87 says:

    I work for CompUSA right now and yeah the store may nt be the best at everything and well to behonest we sold out of inventory pretty fast we are actually closing may 7 due to how little we have and that Micro Center is moving in (yes you heard correctly they bought out the retail space) so for all you living in Montgomery County go the the Rockville store location where CompUSA used to be in Middle May and you will find a more well equipped friendly staff, better inventory, and yes better prices
    Hope to me workingthere myself so well maybe you will see me, maybe you won’t

  55. rickydoo says:

    Well I went to Compusa in responce to an ad in the Sunday paper.I attend church so I did not arrive until about 1:00pm.
    They had a laptop computer for 699.00 that had good features and I decided to purchase one.
    When I inquired about the laptop they told me it was sold out.I said this sort of thing happens to me all the time.
    The sales lady said,”but we have a replacement if you’d care to see it” Well I said yes but I was thinking it was going to be something so horrible.
    To my surprise she brought out a HP dv7000.Holly smokes!!!! You got to be kidding!!!!
    I can get this for 699.00???????
    She said this is the replacement for the one in the ad.I thinking there is going to be alot of consumers that bought the other laptop reaaly sore.
    Well I figured when I check out the real price will surface and kill the deal.Nope it rang up 699.00.Thank you Compusa
    It pays to go to church!