Through the looking glass: CompUSA played an instrumental role in helping to popularize the personal computer in the 90s, a time when e-commerce wasn't really a thing and software was still bought in boxes. The once popular brand is back, but not exactly in a meaningful way.
CompUSA, the former computer giant that once operated hundreds of retail stores across the country, is making a comeback. Don’t let the nostalgia overtake you just yet, however, as you won’t be able to pop down to your local shopping center and leave with the latest consumer electronics.
DealCentral LLC, a private company that operates a deal-hunting and couponing website, recently purchased the iconic brand. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
CompUSA got its start in 1986 when Soft Warehouse opened in Addison, Texas. In 1991, the company changed its name to CompUSA and started trading on the New York Stock Exchange. At one point, it operated more than 225 stores across the US and Puerto Rico.
As online commerce picked up and sales of computers slowed due to the changing technological landscape, CompUSA was forced to close more than half of its stores. In 2008, Systemax (which at the time owned TigerDirect) bought CompUSA as part of a deal valued at $30 million.
Yishai Grossman, founder of DealCentral, said acquiring the asset simply made sense for them on so many levels.
“Out of the gate we can offer the best deals, sales and coupons from all around the web in one place from our partner stores like Walmart, Amazon and Best Buy. Then, come the holiday shopping season, we will host all of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads, break down the massive sales and keep everyone up to date about the hottest deals.”
The “revised” CompUSA went live on October 15 although sadly, there’s not much to differentiate it from the pack aside from its name. If you’ve seen one deals aggregator site, you’ve seen them all.