|Headquarters||Miami, Florida, U.S.|
|No. of locations||3 (U.S.)|
|Alexa rank||1,119 (February 2014[update])|
TigerDirect is a direct online and catalog retailer of computers and consumer electronics. It is a Systemax subsidiary. Its headquarters are in Fontainebleau, Florida. It was sold to PCM, Inc. for $14 million which is expected to close on December 1, 2015. Tiger Direct will end all online and brick and mortar consumer sales by the end of January 2016.
- 1 Overview
- 2 History
- 3 Controversies
- 4 References
- 5 External links
- 6 Spin Off Companies
The bulk of the company's business is based on web and catalog computer electronics sales, where TigerDirect has carved out a niche by placing a heavy emphasis on rebate marketing as a way to offer lower prices. The company also operates retail store and business-to-business channels.
TigerDirect has locations in Miami (corporate headquarters, retail store); Naperville, Illinois (distribution center, corporate sales offices); Jefferson, Georgia (distribution center, corporate sales office, retail store); and North Carolina (corporate sales office).
TigerDirect operates in Canada as TigerDirect.ca.
TigerDirect's Canadian head office is in Richmond Hill, Ontario (55 East Beaver Creek Road Unit G).
The company was founded as BLOC Development Corp., a publisher of utility and application software products starting with FormTool, in 1985. The original company was a pioneer in utility software with several top 10 titles. The original founders were: Frank Millman, Jorge Torres, Tim McGuinness, Frank Haggar, Phil Bolin, Stephan Whitney, and Bob Horton. Frank Milman and Jorge Torres conceptualized the first product "FormTool", then the development team lead by Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. developed the initial and several successful follow-on versions.
In 1989, Tiger Software became a subsidiary of publicly held Bloc Development Corporation (NASDAQ:BDEV). BLOC Development was also the parent company of BLOC Publishing (a sister company of TigerSoftware), which continued the development and publishing of the company's flagship product "FormTool", and 20 other products; and SoftSync, former publisher of the "EXPERT Software" titles and the Macintosh accounting software "Accountant Inc."). BLOC Development later changed its name to TigerDirect (NASDAQ:TIGR).
TigerDirect abandoned the profitable software development in favor of the TigerSoftware catalog by 1991. Unfortunately, the new model under the leadership of Gilbert Fiorentino was unprofitable, and the company was sold in distress to Global DirectMail (now known as Systemax). In 1994 TigerDirect launched a series of profitable smaller catalogs that included GraphicsExpress, as well as CDROM and MAC catalogs. In 1996, after and aborted attenpt at acquisition by Hanover House, it was acquired by Systemax (NYSE: SYX) The commercial website TigerDirect.com was launched in 1995 by Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. (one of the original Bloc Development Founders), selling computer and electronics, books and software. In 2000, TigerDirect expanded its product offerings to include "refurbished" and "recertified" products, brand-name computers from IBM, HP, eMachines, Gateway and others.
Acquisition of CompUSA brand
On January 6, 2008, TigerDirect's parent company Systemax Inc. announced the acquisition of the CompUSA brand, trademarks and e-commerce business, and as many as 16 CompUSA retail outlets in Illinois, Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico.
In late December 2012, CompUSA was consolidated into TigerDirect.
Acquisition of Circuit City brand
On May 13, 2009, TigerDirect's parent company Systemax Inc. announced the acquisition of the Circuit City intellectual property, including its trademarks, brand name, and internet domain. The deal took effect six days later for a price of 14 million dollars. The defunct CircuitCity.com website was restored after the Systemax purchase.
In late December 2012, Circuit City was consolidated into TigerDirect.
Retail store closing
On March 10, 2015, TigerDirect's parent company, Systemax Inc., announced that it will be exiting all retail operations except three locations: Flagler in Miami, Florida; Jefferson, Georgia; and Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. It will also be closing a distribution center in Naperville, Illinois. They will be focusing on online sales, and business to business now as a business model as online sales have skyrocketed each year. Systemax Inc. has listed the services of Gordon Brothers to assist in the store closing process. Stores are expected to close by the end of the second quarter.
Gilbert Fiorentino, 54, and Carl Fiorentino, 57, both of Coral Gables, Florida, were sentenced on March 4, 2015 in Federal Court in the Southern District of Florida, in connection with their participation in an illegal scheme to obtain more than $11 million in kickbacks and other benefits, and to conceal this illicit income from the IRS, while employed as senior executives at Systemax, Inc. (“Systemax”) and its subsidiary, TigerDirect, Inc. (“TigerDirect”).
Federal Trade Commission ruling
On November 4, 1999, case C3903, the Federal Trade Commission issued a decision and order (which expires in 20 years) against TigerDirect for violations of the Pre-sale Availability Rule, the Disclosure Rule and the Warranty Act. Without admitting any wrongdoing, TigerDirect agreed to:
- not represent that it provides On-Site Service unless all limitations and conditions that apply are disclosed;
- fulfill obligations under the warranty within a reasonable period of time after receiving notice from the consumer; and
- cease and desist from failing to make warranty text available for examination prior to sale, failing to disclose what is not covered under any given warranty or the procedures needed to have warranty work accomplished and failing to disclose that certain states may give the consumer legal rights in addition to those provided by the warranty.
Apple Computer lawsuit
In early 2005, the company filed suit against Apple Computer Inc. (now Apple Inc.), alleging trademark infringement, dilution and false designation of origin with Apple's introduction of Mac OS X v10.4, marketed with its codename "Tiger". Although TigerDirect had registered several tiger-related names with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Apple received trademark approval for version 10.4 (Tiger) of its OS X operating system in 2003. TigerDirect registered opposition against Apple's filing with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, and on May 13, 2005, Apple won an emergency hearing. The judge ruled in Apple's favor, noting "the Court finds that the marks are distinctly different."
Infoworld's Robert X. Cringely reported in 2006 that "Tiger's sister company OnRebate.com, which handles payouts for the discount dealer, appears to specialize in the 'insufficient documentation' gambit," and, commenting on the volume of complaints on the Internet, that "Tiger's rebate promises appear to be toothless." Consumer-reported difficulties obtaining the rebates led to an investigation by the Florida Attorney General and a failure to maintain a satisfactory BBB rating. According to a former controller at TigerDirect, improperly unpaid rebates were intentional: "...the concept was that if the customer complains, you send them out the check to make them happy. But if they don't complain, they totally forget about it. That is the concept of these rebates. People forget that they sent them out."
On April 17, 2009, Dell, Inc. filed a lawsuit against TigerDirect. Dell alleged that TigerDirect, a former authorized reseller of Dell products, sold discontinued and outdated Dell products as new and under a Dell warranty. Dell also alleged that the products were from a third-party and advertised with an unauthorized, modified version of the Dell logo. Dell became aware of this when TigerDirect customers contacted Dell to demand price matches.
State of Florida lawsuit
On September 4, 2009, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum filed suit against TigerDirect, OnRebate, and their parent company Systemax, charging the companies with failing to provide rebates to customers. Systemax responded that a separate class action lawsuit making similar allegations was filed in federal court in 2007 and was dismissed on August 31, 2009. The company denied the allegations in the Florida Attorney General complaint and said it intends to defend itself vigorously. The suit was settled for $300,000.
On September 17, 2012, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged a former director of Tigerdirect's parent company, Systemax Inc for fraudulently reaping hundreds of thousands of dollars in undisclosed compensation between January 2006 to December 2010. The SEC alleged that Gilbert Fiorentino, who in addition to serving on the board was the former chief executive of Systemax’s Technology Products Group in Miami, "obtained more than $400,000 in extra compensation directly from firms that conducted business with Systemax." The SEC also alleged Fiorentino of stealing "several hundred thousand dollars worth of company merchandise that was used to market Systemax’s products." Fiorentino failed to disclose his extra compensation and perks to Systemax or its auditors, so that the amounts reported to shareholders were understated.
In April 2011, Systemax placed Fiorentino on administrative leave. On May 9, 2011, Fiorentino agreed to resign from all of his positions with Systemax, surrender stock and stock options valued at approximately $9.1 million, and repay his 2010 annual bonus of $480,000. With Fiorentino's departure, Robert Leeds, Systemax's founding CEO of the technology division, took over as CEO of Systemax's technology products group.
Fiorentino agreed to settle the SEC charges by paying a $65,000 fine and consenting to a permanent bar from serving as an officer or director of any publicly held company.
In the 42nd season of CBC Marketplace, a Canadian consumer protection show, Tigerdirect was featured in the episode entitled "Online reviews: When companies edit your review". The show featured a consumer who had purchased several computers from the retailer and subsequently gave a poor review for service. The review was edited by Tigerdirect prior to the review being placed on Tigerdirect's website. The consumer contacted Tigerdirect several times to have the edited review removed but failed until Marketplace contacted Tigerdirect on his behalf.
- TigerDirect.com, Inc. Web Development Team. Tigerdirect.com http://www.tigerdirect.com/sectors/category/store-locator.asp?cm_sp=Masthead-_-StoreLocator-_-NA. Retrieved 2015-05-21. Missing or empty
- "Tigerdirect.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- "Contact Us." TigerDirect. Retrieved on January 9, 2010.
- "Fountainbleau CDP, Florida." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on January 7, 2010.[dead link]
- " Tiger Direct Sold to PCM - Sun Sentinel"
- " Tiger Direct Sold - Twice.com"
- "Systemax Q4 2007 Earnings Call Transcript – Seeking Alpha". Seekingalpha.com. 2008-03-10. Retrieved 2014-01-27.
- "OnRebate's Ties to TigerDirect". Jerryfeil.com. 2006-02-01. Retrieved 2014-01-27.
- "Systemax.com". Systemax.com. Retrieved 2014-01-27.
- "Systemax Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire Selected Assets and Retail Stores From CompUSA". RedOrbit.com. Retrieved 2008-01-06.
- "Systemax To Cut Circuit City, CompUSA Brands, Exit PC Manufacturing". Twice.com. 2012-11-02. Retrieved 2014-01-27.
- "Firm buys defunct Circuit City’s brand, domain names". Syx.client.shareholder.com. 2009-04-13. Retrieved 2014-01-27.
- * Former Corporate Executives Sentenced in Securities Fraud and Tax Offenses in Multi-Million-Dollar Scheme https://www.fbi.gov/newyork/press-releases/2015/former-corporate-executives-sentenced-in-securities-fraud-and-tax-offenses-in-multi-million-dollar-scheme
- Case C3903 at FTC website
- Court sides with Apple over "Tiger" trademark dispute, AppleInsider, 13 May 2005.
- Cringely, Robert X. (December 29, 2006). "Microsoft tech support swoons, Google promises the moon: When 21st century software meets 12th century bureaucracy". InfoWorld. InfoWorld Media Group, Inc. Retrieved November 28, 2009.
- Cringely, Robert X. (December 1, 2006). "Microsoft and Novell go kablooey, Second Life gets gooey: Sometimes even $440 million can't buy you happiness". InfoWorld. InfoWorld Media Group, Inc. Retrieved November 28, 2009.
- Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - by Chad Weirick (2008-01-29). "Florida Attorney General To Investigate TigerDirect". Hothardware.com. Retrieved 2014-01-27.
- Albright, Mark. "TigerDirect Snags Three CompUSA Outlets", St. Petersburg Times, 12 February 2008.
- "TigerDirect BBB Report". Retrieved 20 December 2006.
- "State sues TigerDirect, OnRebate". Bizjournals.com. 2009-09-04. Retrieved 2014-01-27.
- Dell, Inc. v. TigerDirect, Inc., Case No. 09-CV-3879, S.D.N.Y., 17 April 2009.
- Joseph F. Kovar. "Dell Sues Tiger Direct, Alleges Old Computers Sold As New". CRN. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- "Attorney General Reaches Settlement With Systemax". Office of the Attorney General of Florida. Retrieved 2011-06-15.
- "SEC Charges Former Systemax Director in Compensation Scheme". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved 2013-07-22.
- "Systemax exec resigns, must hand over $11 million". CNET. Retrieved 2013-07-22.
- "Jeff’s reviews before and after, and TigerDirect’s response". CBC. Retrieved 2014-12-24.
- "Online reviews: When companies edit your review". CBC. Retrieved 2014-12-24.
- "Apple successfully defends itself in TigerDirect lawsuit", MacObserver.com. (May 16, 2005)
- Murrell, John. "Mr. Jobs, you have TigerDirect holding on Line 1 and someone from Kellogg's on Line 2", SiliconValley.com. (April 29, 2005)
- Cohen, Peter. "More details emerge on TigerDirect lawsuit", Macworld. (April 29, 2005)
- Kawamoto, Dawn. "Lawsuit could grab Tiger by the tail", CNET News.com. (April 29, 2005)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to TigerDirect.|
- TigerDirect.com website (US)
- TigerDirect Business to Business website (US)
- TigerDirect.ca website (Canada)
Spin Off Companies
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to TigerDirect.|
The following companies were created by ex-employees of TigerDirect or BLOC Development