The computer software retail company Egghead Software was initially founded as a single store in 1984 by Victor Alhadeff. The original Bellevue, Washington, location sought to make software sales more accessible and less technically imposing for common consumers.
The Egghead approach, utilizing well-trained staff alongside a diverse catalog of products and low prices, was successful, and Egghead Software grew to over 100 stores in 13 cities throughout the United States during the '80s. By 1988, the company was recording sales near $350 million; much of the company revenue was reinvested in opening new stores and hiring additional sales and retail staff. The significant increase in administrative costs narrowed profit margins, and by the end of the decade, the company saw two straight years of loss. After closing some stores and streamlining the company, Egghead saw profit in the early '90s despite increasing competition from computer retail superstores and a changing computer software market. In the middle of that decade, the company was again forced to lay off staff and close stores in an effort to stay profitable, focusing on an increased presence on the Internet. In January 1998, the company decided to close its remaining stores and operate as a web-based software retailer. It merged with the auction website OnSale.com in 2000, and was finally acquired by Amazon after filing for bankruptcy in August 2001.