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TWICE On The Scene: CompUSA’s ‘Retail 2.1’ Concept Stores

FORT MYERS, FLA. — Systemax,
which acquired the CompUSA name
and select locations in 2008, has been
busy rebuilding the now 31-store chain
— and re-inventing retail in the process.

Its “Retail 2.1” store concept features
interactive, Internet-connected
displays for TVs, PCs, monitors and
handheld devices that provide customers
with detailed product information,
and even allow them to shop competitors’
Web sites.

At the same time, the system sends
valuable data back to Systemax on
shoppers’ in-store browsing behavior.

The concept has helped boost
sales of handhelds by 40 percent in
test stores, said Gilbert Fiorentino,
chief executive of the Systemax
technology products group, which
includes CompUSA, CircuitCity.
com and TigerDirect.

TWICE recently visited a 2.1 store
in Fiorentino’s home base of Florida.
Our impression: This definitely ain’t
your father’s CompUSA.