Bloomberg News

CompUSA Plans to Close 126 Stores, More Than Half

February 27, 2007

CompUSA Inc. plans to shut 126 shops by the end of May, more than half its stores, because of competition in the consumer electronics market.

The closings will leave 103 stores. Spokeswoman Jessica Nunez said CompUSA said the restructuring will include receiving $440 million from Mexico City-based parent U.S. Commercial Corp, a holding company controlled by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim.

CompUSA focuses on computer-related products for small businesses, causing the company to lag behind larger competitors including Best Buy Co. and Circuit City Stores Inc. in sales of consumer electronics such as flat-screen televisions and video games. U.S. Commercial Corp. has lost money in all but one year since Slim bought CompUSA in 2000.

Chief Executive Officer Roman Ross cited ``changing conditions in the consumer retail electronics market'' in a company statement announcing the restructuring. CompUSA will focus on operations at its top-performing locations, Ross said.

The company, which employs about 1,000 people in Dallas, said last week that it would close four stores in Texas, Illinois and California. Nunez said the company hasn't determined how many job losses will result from the restructuring. She said some will occur at its headquarters in Dallas.

U.S. Commercial said in an e-mail statement on Feb. 14 to the Mexican stock exchange that it would sell $455 million in new shares to strengthen CompUSA. In September, Slim hired Credit Suisse Group to explore a possible sale of CompUSA.

To contact the reporters on this story: William Freebairn in Mexico City at wfreebairn@bloomberg.net; Adam Satariano in San Francisco at Asatariano1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Nol at mnol@bloomberg.net.


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