CompUSA Closes. Is Anyone Really Surprised?

After months of liquidation, CompUSA’s operations will cease this Friday. Analysts are debating the cause of the company’s demise, but there’s really no mystery here. CompUSA failed for two main reasons:

(1) Their customer service sucked. I can’t tell you how many times I wrote to or spoke with CompUSA’s unapologetic management about the poor customer service in their stores. Staff were often unavailable, uninformed, and unhelpful. Advertised specials were often unavailable. Clerks were clearly more interested in selling computers than helping customers with the bulk of the store’s merchandise.

(2) They lost their focus by trying to sell home video electronics. Most CompUSA stores reconfigured their space to sell TVs, DVD players, DVRs, and other home electronics. Put aside the question of why they believed they could attract TV-buying consumers. Or maybe you shouldn’t. In fact, because they couldn’t move this merchandise, most of their home video inventory was woefully outdated.

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