Back from the dead: CompUSA assets snapped up by TigerDirect

CompUSA will live on, thanks to a deal with electronics marketer Systemax. Systemax, which owns popular computer parts reseller (and CompUSA competitor) TigerDirect, announced yesterday that it has entered into an agreement to purchase the CompUSA brand, trademarks, and e-commerce business. It also plans to acquire select assets and retail stores from the company, and says that it expects to close various parts of the deal throughout the first quarter of the year. "We believe the value of the CompUSA brand remains very high. The company has a long legacy of value pricing, service and customer loyalty among consumers nationwide," said Systemax CEO Richard Leeds in a statement. "We view this acquisition as a strong complementary business to our TigerDirect operation." The announcement comes exactly a month after CompUSA announced that it had been sold to restructuring firm Gordon Brothers Group to close the remainder of its 103 stores. At the time, Gordon Brothers Group said that it planned to sell select stores in key markets in addition to and the company's tech service business, and it was widely rumored that TigerDirect would swoop in to buy those assets. Retail stores that weren't in the process of being sold were closed just after the holidays. TigerDirect has been a popular stop online for computer enthusiasts looking for a good deal for many years, but has been growing its brick-and-mortar presence as of late. TigerDirect already operates 11 retail stores in several states and one in Canada; Systemax says that it is currently looking at up to 16 CompUSA locations in Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico, which it says will be integrated into TigerDirect's existing retail environment., on the other hand, will continue to operate under its own name, but under Systemax's ownership once the agreement is closed. Systemax expects the direct costs of the acquisition to come to about $30 million, not counting legal fees, inventory, and other expenses. Although the purchase will mean plenty of changes for CompUSA's stores, website, and brand, it's strangely comforting to know that it will go on under new ownership. Ars Technica


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