Apparently, the secret lay in…um, making the stores look cool and connecting demo PCs to the Internet so customers can comparison shop. How novel!
In essence, CompUSA’s new owner is turning the stores into Internet entrance ramps. PC and television monitors not only display eye-catching clips, as they do in most retail chains; each points as well to the device’s product page on the compusa.com Web site. Shoppers can also check store inventories and even browse competitors’ sites to compare prices. “We want to give people the rich experience of buying online,” says Gilbert Fiorentino, who heads the chain’s retail strategy.
If they want to duplicate rich experience of buying online, do you think anyone would complain if I walked into the store wearing fuzzy slippers and carrying a plate of waffles?
How CompUSA Made a Comeback [BusinessWeek] (Thanks, Geoff!)