Tag - CompUSA
Systemax on Friday announced it has finished its acquisition of online electronics retailer Circuit City following its bankruptcy and launched a revised Circuit City website. Systemax has also aquired CompUSA last year and oversees online retailer TigerDirect. The new Circuit City site has 24/7 customer service, advanced search functions and photo and video galleries of the products it carries.
PC builder and retailer Systemax may revive the Circuit City name through a deal, a court filing shows (PDF). Already the owner of TigerDirect and recently CompUSA stores, the company is in the running for bids on Circuit City's name before May 11th and would pay as much as $6.5 million to acquire both the brand name itself and the rights to run the Circuit City website. It's not known which other companies are in the running or how likely they are to win a bid.
Following its bankruptcy and sale to Systemax, CompUSA has quietly been reopening new stores with a very different policy on Internet access. In a talk with Wired, Systemax's Technology Products chief Gilbert Fiorentino has confirmed both that there are now 30 new CompUSA stores but that the new shops have a largely open Internet policy that puts every computer in the store on an Internet connection. Shoppers are reportedly encouraged to use demo units to check prices and reviews, and are unrestricted from ordinary tasks like checking Facebook.
Circuit City on Monday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a last-stage bid to remain in business. The move follows an already drastic step to shutter 155 stores and requires the retailer to reorganize the company and its finances to more readily pay back debts to its creditors, which include Samsung, Sony and other companies whose products are sold through the chain.
Circuit City today confirmed a drastic step to save its retail business and says it will shutter 155 of its stores across the US as well as renegotiate its store licenses and curb its launches for new stores. The move leaves 566 stores and is said to target those locations that were unprofitable, particularly after marketing was involved. The shutdown takes effect quickly and will see closeout sales as early as November 5th.
Not willing to wait until the official shutdown of production in March, Japanese retail shops are already pulling all their HD DVD drives and movies off of shelves, according to reports. Although less than a week after Toshiba's withdrawal of the HD DVD standard, several high-profile shops such as Edion and Yodobashi Camera have already halted selling either the players or the movies. Most are reportedly in discussions with Toshiba to send back unsold players and, in the case of Edion, are planning exchange programs where customers can potentially receive a Blu-ray player as a free or low-cost exchange for a now-obsolete HD DVD player.
In brief: A CompUSA in Lexington, Kentucky is discounting its entire stock of Apple merchandise, Zannel has optimized its web-based multimedia sharing site for the iPhone, and MacNN has posted reviews of a website creation app called Shutterbug, and the leather Cobra iPod CoverCase. CompUSA is offering discounts of 5-percent on Apple desktops, laptops, and iPods, 10-percent off of Apple Cinema Displays, 15-percent on Apple software, and a 20-percent discount on Apple accessories. While CompUSA is currently having a sale on its website, it is unclear if this is the same offer, or if this is being offered outside of Lexington.
Troubled electronics retailer CompUSA today said it has been sold to investment firm Gordon Brothers Group, ending a significant component of the company's business. The plan will see CompUSA sell off some of its physical stores as well as its company website and its TechPro technical support service. The 103 stores that have remained since the company's previous round of closures will remain open until the end of the holiday season. Key Gordon Brothers Group principal Bill Weinstein will take over from current CompUSA headman Roman Ross as part of the deal.
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WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R