I remenber back in 1992 when I managed several Bay Area computer stores the word on the street was that retail computer sales and computer stores were virtually dead and we had better turn to “outside sales” if we wanted to sustain and remain. We hired new staff to sell directly to businesses and damn anyone who ventured into our storefronts.
Tons of computer stores shuttered and closed their doors with the ones that remained attempting to hold the fort as if nothing was changed. Traditional electronic strores had grand visions of moving beyond just audio and video so players like The Good Guys and others morphed into computer stores until the other shoe fell.
Mainstays like CompUSA and Egghead quickly faded away and a few high-flying players like Fry’s had the game all to themselves. Apple seemed either crazy or prescient when they opened their own stores while Best Buy, Home Depot and Office Depot did their best to be everything to everybiody.
It seems that Jeff Bezos was perhaps the most perceptive of all leading Amazon to the forefront of increasing online sales.
So here we sit in 2012 and the whole arena has changed. What is in store for the future? Carriers have there own stores and you’d be hard pressed to find a source for buying a computer let alone a place to ask questions or get your hands on one.