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The mail-order electronics seller plans to retain the CompUSA name on the Tampa Bay area stores.
By MARK ALBRIGHT, Times Staff Writer
Published February 12, 2008
TigerDirect, a Miami-based mail-order electronics dealer, will take over three of the four remaining CompUSA stores in the Tampa Bay area and adopt the CompUSA name.
The company, which paid $30-million for 16 of the otherwise defunct CompUSA stores and the rights to use the trade name, will add 11 CompUSA outlets in Florida to its established retail presence in South Florida.
"We intend to convert our four TigerDirect stores in South Florida to CompUSA because it's a much stronger brand," said Gil Fiorentino, chief executive officer of TigerDirect, which will use both names at its online shopping sites.
CompUSA owner and Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu gave up on CompUSA last fall by selling the inventory in the last 103 stores to liquidators.
TigerDirect plans to remodel the stores it bought, replenish inventory with a deep selection and hire many of the CompUSA employees who have been running the liquidation sale before reopening in a few weeks. Apple products, however, will be gone. The stores being taken over are in Brandon, Clearwater and at 701 N Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa. A fourth, at 3617 N Hills-borough Ave. in Tampa, is not part of the sale.
TigerDirect is the retail unit of Systemax Inc., a onetime industrial supply company based in Port Washington, N.Y., that in recent years has generated most of its business from the manufacture and sale of computers and other electronics.
Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum recently launched a deceptive trade practices investigation into TigerDirect. The retailer's advertised prices often reflect manufacturer rebates, which are then processed by OnRebates.com,, another Systemax unit that serves as a clearinghouse for manufacturers' rebates. The investigation focuses on whether advertised rebates are not mailed promptly and customers are too frequently disqualified from getting the cash.
TigerDirect declined to comment on the investigation.
Mark Albright can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8252.
[Last modified February 11, 2008, 22:56:39]