Update: Tweeter's Liquidation Sales Are Unimpressive

Liquidation sales have not transformed consumer electronics chain Tweeter into a Shangri-La of discount electronics, much to our disappointment. No $50 HDTVs. No ‘buy one get one’ deals on iPods. Just 49 closing stores offering 10%-30% discounts. All sales final.

We are not surprised. Gordan Brothers, the company liquidating CompUSA’s remaining stock, is responsible for managing Tweeter’s liquidation sales. This time, it’s a family affair. The Chairman of Tweeter, Samuel Bloomberg, is the brother of Gordan Brothers’ Managing Director, Jeffrey Bloomberg, who also serves on Tweeter’s board.

Sven, CMStrapz, and Alex describe the sales, after the jump…

Sven’s email.
Thought I’d drop a line; stopped by a Tweeter in San Diego today and called around to a couple more. They’re doing pretty much the same thing as the Good Guys’ and CompUSAs — everything in the store is 10% off of list price, with probable plans to make the discounts bigger as time goes on.

I went looking at the Clairemont store where I’ve bought a couple of things in years past, and they still have a good chunk of stuff, but it’s all still pretty pricey. I called around to the Encinitas and Vista stores (all in the greater San Diego area), and it’s pretty much the same; the Vista store already has a guy who’s got the ‘I just found out I’m getting laid off and don’t really care about your problems’ attitude going on, at least over the phone, which is somewhat understandable — I’m guessing a lot of these sales guys came from Good Guys when they closed last year, so having to find yet another job so soon would kind of suck.

CMStrapz, also in California, had a similar experience.

I stopped by my local neighborhood Tweeter yesterday morning (Mission Valley, San Diego, CA). They had a sign holder on the street corner holding a sign that said 10-30% off everything. When I pulled up to the actual store, the first thing I saw, from the outside, mind you, was a HUGE sign that said “All Sales Final”. Once I could take my focus off of that, I saw the big signs that had the 10-30% information. There were no signs that stated “Store Closing” or “Liquidation” or “Everything Must Go” or anything gimmicky like that. Inside the store, there were 2 employees and no customers. I chatted briefly with the employee and looked around, I could only find items marked 10% off, and the reductions were all on original price. I would bet that some non-closing stores have some of these items for lower prices, since usually sale prices are more than 10% off. I couldn’t find anything with 30% off, though I imagine it is on overpriced accessories, cables and such. The salesperson also alluded to the fact that they didn’t have much in stock in boxes, most of the sales would be floor models. I asked about extra money off for floor models and he said no, not at this point. He pointed out that all of the tags said “NO FURTHER DISCOUNTS.” So, really not very good deals at this point. The salesperson told me to check back next week, when they reduce the prices further. I’ll take a look and update you again.

Alex reports the suckage extends to upstate New York.

I stopped by at Tweeters (Albany, NY) two days ago to check out the sale and since I am a Mobile Audio Sound Quality geek I was looking toward some good sales on sub’s/speakers/amps, but was really disappointed by only 15% off sale on major items and 30% off on little things like ipod accessories. The sale prices are still way higher then what you pay online, so I guess we’ll have to wait. I’ll stop by the shop sometime next week and send you an update on the sale.

The search for Shangri-La continues. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER

Tweeter To Close, Liquidate 49 Stores

CompUSA’s “Fire Sales” Expected To Suck


Edit Your Comment

  1. josh1701 says:

    I stopped by the Walnut Street store in Philadelphia on Tuesday and found the same situation. To say I was underwhelmed is an understatement. Unlike the other reports, the selection was limited. Although it’s a small store to start with, and that might be part of it, I wonder if they had transferred a lot of stock to their stores that are staying open. Even with the sales prices there was nothing I couldn’t get for less elsewhere and, more importantly, be able to return it, too!

  2. TPK says:

    [“NO FURTHER DISCOUNTS.” … The salesperson told me to check back next week, when they reduce the prices further.]

    Umm… what am I missing here? Why don’t stores all over the country just announce they are closing. Lately it seems that they can get much better prices for their merchandise that way, and it sure seems like nobody cares if they routinely lie about the situation.

    Reminds me of a shoe store that came to our local mall a few years ago. First day they opened for business, they had huge signs out front reading “CLEARANCE SALE”!

  3. JohnMc says:

    Well I guess my first observation would be anything that was a ‘mover’ before the discounting has probably been moved to stores that are surviving. That retains the profit margin for Tweeter. So much of the stuff that is left is, well I won’t call it junk, but not making it in the marketplace. And the fact that it is now All Sales Final kinda makes it even less attractive.

    I had gone over to a closing CompUsa here in Texas and when I saw the sign inside the store that said sales final I walked right back out. Final sales on things like furniture, ok. But electronics? No way.

  4. rg says:

    ooohhh!!! 10-30% off! now THAT’S a sale!!

  5. Musician78 says:

    That is some sick savings right there. Sick, sick savings.

  6. xanax25mg says:

    Hmm, Carey posted this news item, so how come the headline isn’t ‘Tweeter Sales are SCAMS!!!!”

  7. formated4tv says:

    Going out of business sale!!! This week only, PAY NO SALES TAX!!! It’s like we’re giving the items away!!!

  8. saintjohnson says:

    Yeah, I saw the same signs at the Tweeter here in Chattanooga.
    These closeout sales are like a Backwards eBay…the price starts out high and continues to drop until the item is bought.

  9. Niskyspy says:

    Yey, my picture was posted :), and like I said the sale is really, really bad so I wouldn’t recommend to even step inside the store at least for the next two weeks. I am sure they will lower the prices because from what it looked, nobody was buying much, and don’t expect good customer service because there isn’t any. I wasn’t greeted or asked if I needed help when I walked into the store (for people who don’t know Tweeters has atmosphere of something like RadioShack but now without sale persons running toward you and asking why you came).
    I’ll update on the sale sometime mid next week.

  10. Rajio says:

    theres a shop near me which has had a ‘going out of business – everything must go’ sale now for the past6 years (possibly longer). i guess they’re going out of business in the same sylvia plath sece that we’re all dying.

  11. mac-phisto says:

    @JohnMc: you know, i thought that too, but when i dealt with liquidation of a “neighborhood electronics store” that not too long ago nixed a few hundred stores, i found that “movers” were still in the store. they just don’t restock. in most cases, these highly desired items will clear out at only a minor discount, which costs a company less than moving it to another store.

    the only great deals i’ve ever found at liquidations were display cases & fixtures.

  12. apeguero says:

    This stuff reminds me of a store in one of the neighborhoods in Boston a few years back. They had the same “Out FOR Business” sign in big red letters with a yellow background for a few weeks. A lot of these businesses know how to attract the uneducated and dumb ones among us who see a big, flashy sign with similar heading and automatically assume that the prices there must be the best deal. Suckers!

    I noticed that some items in CompUSA are actually priced slightly higher than they are in nearby Circuit City or Best Buys. I’m sure they’re marking up items so that they lose the least after the discount.

  13. orielbean says:

    Thank God for market forces closing compusa and tweeter. What a pack of overpriced fools. Hooray internet price comparison and subject matter expert forums that do the thinking for me.

    All you need from these brick & mortar companies is a showroom – go in there, find what you like, and buy online from a reputable store.

  14. mac-phisto says:

    @apeguero: “A lot of these businesses know how to attract the uneducated and dumb ones among us who see a big, flashy sign with similar heading and automatically assume that the prices there must be the best deal.”

    HAHA! like best buy! i swear that is the best marketing idea ever. big yellow tags everywhere & a huge sign that says BEST BUY.