Welcome back, CompUSA!
The once-bankrupt electronics store is opening dozens of new stores (mostly in Florida), and operating with a new plan: Copy part of what made the Apple (AAPL) store successful.
Well, CompUSA isn’t going with the Apple Store’s stark minimalism, but they are making all of their floor demo computers available to the public, and connecting them to the Internet, Wired reports. That should encourage people to actually play with the products, start to lust after them, and loiter in the store. The ability to check Facebook on a demo Mac is part of what’s made the Apple Store such a popular hangout — all the while introducing people to Apple products.
We like the idea a lot, and a big part of our frustration with the old CompUSA (and big-box electronics stores in general) has always been that PC floor models tend to be turned on, but locked with a password-protected screen saver, preventing anyone from getting to know the computer.
And maybe the timing is right for a CompUSA comeback. One of CompUSA’s biggest rivals, Circuit City, is now gone. At least some of the people who were buying things at Circuit City are now going to Best Buy (BBY) instead, but those customers can just as easily be CompUSA’s.