December 8, 2007

goodbye, CompUSA

A geek rite of passage is about to be eliminated. CompUSA is closing its doors for good.

CompUSA is the first store that I and my brother ever camped out at for an early-morning sale. Now I forget even what we were trying to buy... probably something like a 120MB hard drive and SimCity 2000.

Ever since Tandy's ill-fated Computer City failed, there was only one source for last-minute computer parts around. CompUSA filled a niche that WalMart does for non-tech items - if you needed an IDE cable or replacement modem in a pinch, they probably had it in stock. But even WalMart is muscling in on that game.

In recent years, CompUSA has been for me, and probably a lot of other people, the "try before you buy" store. You go in and play with all the mice, then go online and order what you want for 30% less from someone else. Unfortunately, that's a pretty bad business model.

Now, Nashville will be without a "big box" computer source. Sure, we've got the Best Buy and Circuit City mafiosos around, and Mac Authority does a great job for the Apple-centric crowd. However, now would be a GREAT time for a Fry's expansion plan to include Music City (hint hint hint.)

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