One business segment I am not buying any stock in is the packed arena of electronics.
I am talking about Comp USA, Best Buy, Ultimate Electronics, Office Max, Wal-Mart, Staples and Circuit City. No niche business here folks.
Every one of them is offering a dizzying array of Ipods, PDA’s, flat screen TVs and the list goes on and on.
How much longer until a major merger or acquisition happens in the retail tech sector?
I have been playing around with updating my circa 1999 Compaq Ipaq that is so loaded with contacts it doesn’t have enough memory for e-mail. Back in the dark ages when I bought it, they didn’t have the memory expansion slots.
As I was shopping around for a possible replacement it occurred to me that all of the stores cited above are in extreme competition. OK, maybe there is some slight difference, such as you can buy a refrigerator at Best Buy, but not at Staples. Or maybe one of them offers computer repair and another doesn’t.
What would the merger look like? Maybe the name could be something like Bestcircuitstapleselectronicsultimatemax or BCSEUM for short.
I have not convinced myself to go full “crackberry” yet, even though I like the idea of handling e-mail under the table while attending a function or board meeting.
There are plenty of handheld devices – I guess that is what they call them now. Back in the day of cell phones the size of the crank phone Radar used to fire up for Col. Potter we called them PDAs. That is a reference to the TV show “M.*A*S*H.” for you younger readers.
Anyway, back to the merger.
Could these companies combine their plethora of technology offerings into a comprehensive distribution and real-time to market process that would rival Wal-Mart’s? Possibly. I think they should.
Wal-Mart needs some competition. But enough about Wal-Mart.
I was at a meeting on Monday where Vic Andrew’s Blackberry wouldn’t allow him access because of a password problem, and Tom Naughton didn’t have his handheld device because of some other technology issue.
When my dad is around and I am using my old PDA, he reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out a small calendar and contact book and a snub nosed No. 2 pencil and says, “Here is my handheld device.” Maybe father knows best.
I guess one of these days I will break down and go with a new wireless handheld device. Maybe when they start making them the size of a quarter so I will have one more thing to leave in yesterday’s suit, fall beneath the seat in my car or get lost on my desk.
Now where are my glasses?
Lon Matejczyk is publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal. He can be reached at lon.matejczyk@csbj.com or 329-5202.