Thursday, 8 March, 2007 3:16 PM
are caught by surprise by CompUSA's store closings
BY JASON RZUCIDLO / AMERICAJR.com
CompUSA store on Ford Road in Detroit is closing its doors for good.
CompUSA has decided to
close 126 of its stores nationwide including seven within the state
of Michigan. Lansing will be the only store location that remains
open in the state.
The electronics retailer
is in the middle of a restructuring phase. The company has been
losing money for the last 18 months and hasn’t turned a profit
since. CompUSA was also accumulating large debts with its business
on changing conditions in the consumer retail electronics market,
the company identified the need to close and sell stores with low
performance or non strategic, old store layouts and locations faced
with market saturation,” said Roman Ross, CEO of
Shoppers have lots of
options when it comes to buying electronics. Competition from surrounding
retailers is one of the reasons why CompUSA is shutting its doors.
Online retailers such as Amazon and eBay are also possible factors
behind the decision.
CompUSA is closing all
its Michigan stores except for one. Stores in Troy, Detroit, Utica,
Ann Arbor, Orion/Auburn Hills, Novi and Grand Rapids will be closing
in less than 90 days. However, the Lansing store is saved. A sales
associate said the Lansing store has purchasing contracts with the
government and is more profitable.
was making bad business decisions. We got huge debt. The company
has not made money,” said Alex Kliza, a sales associate
at the Detroit store. “I saw it coming because of
The Ford Road location
originally had 56 employees. Just three weeks ago, 22 of them were
laid off. Only two week ago, six more employees lost their jobs.
Kliza is going to lose his job but will continue to work there until
the very end.
Employees found out about
the closing on Feb. 28th. However, one sales associate knew of the
closing in advance while visiting a blog. Employees will receive
two weeks of severance pay while searching for a new job.
Brian Bonner, a customer
from Dearborn Heights, was surprised to find out the store was closing.
He came to the Detroit location “to see if anything
special was going on.” Bonner purchased an Apple
iPod immediately after the closing was announced but before discounts
were being offered.
Bonner said that he will
do most of his shopping online after the store is closed. “I
may go to other stores to see what it looks like but still get a
better deal online.” The customer shopped at this
store six times per year.
The return policy at
the stores slated for closing is void. All sales are final, as stated
on the receipt. However, if a shopper wants to return items previously
purchased at CompUSA, they will have to travel to the Lansing location.
Right now, everything
in the store is marked down by 5 to 20 percent off. Everything will
be sold including store fixtures. Discounts will get higher as the
days come to an end. All inventories are now owned by the liquidator
and are no longer property of CompUSA.
Some items inside the
store will not be marked down. All BOSE audio equipment and accessories
will remain regular price. In addition, CompUSA extended warranties
will not be discounted. For existing customers who have extended
warranties, they will automatically be upgraded to the in-home service
Lisa, a first time customer
from Detroit had no idea the store was closing. “I
try to support stores that are close to where I live,”
the Detroit resident said. She came to the CompUSA location to look
for some color ink but wasn’t able to find it. The shopper
explained, “I like to see what I’m getting.
Savings ain’t that great online.”
CompUSA decided to run
a sales circular in Metro Detroit this weekend even with the store
closures. Sales from the circular are not being honored. The only
way to receive those savings is by shopping online or at the Lansing
The retailer is currently
owned by Grupo Carso, a retail conglomerate from Mexico. Grupo Carso
is headquartered in Dallas. The conglomerate also owns a majority
stake in Sears Roebuck of Mexico.
BY JASON RZUCIDLO / AMERICAJR.com
Dearborn / Detroit CompUSA is located in a plaza that also houses
an Office Depot. A Chili's and a Wendy's restaurant are located
in the parking lot closer to the road.