I Bet You'll Find This Amusing?
By Ira Friedman
Several weeks ago, the good guys! stores in my neighborhood closed their doors for good.
Oh, I'm sorry…I'm mistaken.
They didn't close for good—they're reopening as "boutiques" inside those fabulous CompUSA stores.
So I walked into my local CompUSA to see the new "good guys! inside" section. It's a few aisles of plasmas and assorted A/V gear, merchandised with the same spectacular attention to detail for which CompUSA is known the world over.
After years of the good guys! dominating the A/V market in California, it's come to this: A few shelves of product in the back of a computer store.
We're all smirking, right? "See? The good guys! screwed it all up. Must have been bad management. Bad locations. Bad advertising. Too much competition from Best Buy, Circuit City, Tweeter, you name it. They had the wrong brands. They had the wrong pricing. They didn't invest in their stores. They deserved it."
Well, not entirely true.
Other factors were at play—insidious factors that affect your business as well.
Case in point: I'm looking for a 42-inch plasma for my house.
Tweeter has a Samsung for $2,199.
Circuit City has the same item for $100 less ($2,089.99).
Online, I found the same item for $1,625.
So where do I make my purchase?
Well, if I gotta have it right now, I'll choose Circuit City.
If I can wait a week, and deal with the hassle of an online reseller, I'll do the internet deal.
Why don't I choose Tweeter? Hmmm. I think the real question is, why would I?
It's not like Tweeter offers a better level of "service" associated with this TV. That's not a knock on Tweeter, either. I can't see any value that any reseller adds to this plasma.
And in cases where a store adds no value to the item it sells (save for having it in inventory and taking your money), these items become commoditized and price becomes the deciding factor for purchase.