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CompUSA Enhances Interactive Displays

MIAMI — CompUSA, which last year
introduced interactive in-store displays
for TVs, PCs and monitors, has extended
that functionality to portable navigation
devices, cellphones, MP3 players,
cameras and other handheld devices as
the Systemax-owned chain continues to
enhance its “Retail 2.0” concept.

The Internet-based platform allows
in-store customers to access price
and product information — and even
browse competitors’ Web sites — from
dedicated display screens that are adjacent
to the product. Shoppers can also
receive detailed price and product information
for a wide range of SKUs via
Internet-connected, scanner-equipped
displays that are scattered throughout
Retail 2.0 stores.

In CompUSA’s next-generation Retail
2.1 stores, handheld devices will be
connected to the system via a tethered
“waterfall” display that allows customers
to hold and demo each item. Lifting
a device from its cradle activates a central
screen that provides detailed product
information to customers, as well as
data on browsing behavior to Systemax.
Upgraded stores will typically feature
five of the displays.

The concept has helped boost sales of
handhelds by 40 percent, said Gilbert
Fiorentino, chief executive of the Systemax
Technology Products Group, which
includes CompUSA,
and TigerDirect.

In addition, screen layouts have been
simplified from their previous Web
page formats, he said, and will be leveraged
across all of the more than 200
display screens found in Retail 2.0 and
2.1 stores.

CompUSA has also developed a proprietary
end-cap display for Microsoft
software products that features an interactive
touchscreen, and could be licensed
to other companies.

“The Internet is driving store innovation,”
Fiorentino told TWICE. “We are
perfecting Retail 2.0 with more touch
screens, hands-on product and Internet
capabilities, and greater communication
of promotions to our in-store customers.”

CompUSA currently operates 31
stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The
latest addition recently opened in Bunker
Hill, Texas, and Fiorentino plans
to open two more stores in the coming
weeks in Chicago and Delaware. All
new locations will feature Retail 2.1 innovations,
while the company works on
upgrading older stores to the new platform.