Web Breathes New Life Into Failed Retailers
The retail graveyard is filled with venerable names that were felled by the recession. Now, some risk-taking companies are trying to profit by bringing brands back from the dead. Systemax Inc., best known as the parent of Internet computer-parts retailer TigerDirect.com, gambled by buying the rights to the names of two deceased store chains, CompUSA for $30 million in 2008 and Circuit City for $14 million in 2009. Now as the economy crawls toward recovery, Systemax is opening CompUSA stores in Houston, Chicago and other major markets after successfully testing the concept in Florida. It already revived Circuit City as an Internet retailer last June, and is contemplating a brick-and-mortar rebirth for that brand as well.