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CompUSA is pulling the plug

December 08, 2007|From the Associated Press

DALLAS — Consumer electronics retailer CompUSA Inc. said Friday that it would close its stores after the holidays after the sale of the company to an affiliate of Gordon Brothers Group, a restructuring firm.

CompUSA operates 103 stores, which plan to run store-closing sales during the holidays.

Privately held CompUSA, controlled by Mexican billionaire financier Carlos Slim's Grupo Carso, said discussions were underway to sell certain stores in key markets. Stores that can't be sold will be closed.

Gordon Brothers will also try to sell the company's technical services business, CompUSA TechPro, and online business, CompUSA.com.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Dallas-based CompUSA has struggled for nearly a decade with falling prices on personal computers, its most important product, and competition from big-box retailers such as Best Buy Co.

Slim took the company private in 2000. The chain went through several chief executives and tried different turnaround strategies, such as focusing on core customers such as small-business owners.

CompUSA closed more than half its stores last spring and got a cash infusion of $440 million to restructure.

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