Circuit City Liquidates

CC%20empty.jpgAs a former Circuit City employee, I was saddened to hear that CC will be liquidating after not securing a buyer interested in preserving the retail chain. All remaining 567 stores will be liquidated in order to settle its substantial debts, as reported by the AP. These are tough times in retail. As reported by the Wall Street Journal:

Tight credit has limited retailers' ability to reorganize. No major retailers that have filed for creditor protection since January 2008 have remained in operation. Among those to liquidate are Linens 'n Things, Bombay Co., Mervyn's LLC and Sharper Image Corp. Steve & Barry's LLC and Goody's Family Clothing Inc. were among the rare retailers to exit bankruptcy last year -- but both are now liquidating, too.

The article goes on to assign some blame:

Retail experts have cited the 2005 overhaul of the U.S. bankruptcy code as one reason so many chains are closing their doors. One such change shortened the period in which a retailer may accept or reject store leases. Retailers used to get a year or more to make those decisions. Now they are given 210 days. Once they accept a lease, the landlord then has an administrative claim against the bankrupt company.

CC was a leader in the multi-channel space. They were one of the first retailers to offer buy-on-the-web, pick-up-in-the-store in a repeatable process. Their web site was built in 9 months and was fully integrated with their store systems. In fact, behind the web site were actual store servers (CC-130s for those that know) so the e-commerce sales looked just like store sales. This allowed mixed channel transactions and provided very accurate inventory tracking. In the 1990s their infrastructure and software systems led the industry, but they were slow to upgrade and began to loose their competitive edge.

Starting around 2002 Best Buy, Amazon.com, and Walmart began to significantly eat into their sales as their out-dated stores were failing to attract customers. It's unfortunate that the remodels and re-locations took so long. Given more time, I think CC could have survived and maybe even thrived. I'm sorry to see CC go.

Update: Below is a timeline I put together using stock prices from Yahoo, the Circuit City investor site, and some news articles. As you can see, CC really peaked and crashed with the dot-coms between 1998 and 2000. They were rebuilding through 2006 at which point problems became apparent and the steady decline began.

The%20Fall%20of%20Circuit%20City.PNG
View larger image

Comments:

As a result of the demise of Circuit City yesterday I have been trying to verify a "FIREDOG" repair appointment that I received a voice mail about a few days ago.

These are the steps I took:
1. Went online to Circuit City and was connected to "http://www.circuitcity.com/closed.html", da, I already knew they were dead!

2. Tried to find "Federal Warranty Service Corporation" only to find out that because I live in California I needed to contact "Sureway, Inc., P.O. Box 105689, Atlanta, GA 30348-6589, (770) 763-1000", same address for both companies.

3. Called Circuit City Repair at 888-333-2333, got a message to call on Saturday after 9:00 AM EST.

4. Called on Saturday and via voice mail service received an appointment with "Electronic Doctor 877-243-2524" and a confirmation number and was told I would receive a call from them within 24 hours.

5. Called my local Circuit City store and spoke with "Firedog" person, but he was for only "Computers", and was told to call Firedog at 1-800-Firedog (1-800-347-3364).

6. Called 1-800-Firedog and spoke with a person who, after explaining to her I wanted to verify a time for the Monday appointment, see top paragraph, I was told that I had the wrong department and was transfered.

7. Spoke with another person at Firedog who told me that the department that I needed to talk with was open Saturday 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM EST, and it was now 1:20 PM. So I was given a number to call back on Monday at 9:00 AM EST, 1-800-395-4376, and they should be able to verify if and when someone should be at my house to repair my TV.

8. So I will wait for Monday and start calling again.

Jim

P.S. They have been trying to get my 30" TV working for TWO-MONTHS!!!! It is a good thing I own more than one TV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Jim on January 17, 2009 at 05:02 AM CST #

Dropped off my $1000 projector on1/10/09 for repair called back to check on status. It was never shipped and the store is closed. Now What?

Posted by jayrod on January 21, 2009 at 11:13 AM CST #

I work for Customer Relations department for your underwriter of the contract.

You can call 1-800-THE-CITY

They will help you because they are corporate until all store are liquidated.

Posted by Rep on February 04, 2009 at 03:58 PM CST #

Hi, I turned in an LG DVD Home theater on January 2, 2009. I received a voice message on my phone that I qualified for a refund and to take all accesories to my local Circuit City Store. I went to my local circuit city store and they don't show any records of an approved refund. They can help me if I present the broken equipment, but it hasn't been shipped to me and it's now March 18th. None of the phone numbers I was given work. I'm very frustated. Do you know what I can do?

Posted by Nancy M. on March 18, 2009 at 03:02 PM CDT #

I AM TRYING TO HAVE MY 50"SAMSUNG PLASMA EXCHNAGED RIGHT THROUGH SAMSUNG, UNDER THE FACTORY WARRANTY, BUT BECAUSE OF THE QUALITY OF THE CIRCUIT CITY RECEIPT HAS FADED TO THE POINT THAT THEY WILL NOT HONOR IT, I HAVE TRYED CONTCTING 1800 THECITY WITH NO LUCK HOW CAN I GO ABOUT GETTING A DUPLICATE RECEIPT OR AM I JUST OUT OF LUCK

Posted by JUSTIN M on May 11, 2009 at 08:56 AM CDT #

This blog is not associated with Circuit City, so I don't really know how to help people with issues. 1800THECITY is the only phone number I know.

Posted by David on May 11, 2009 at 11:20 PM CDT #

fOR THE GUY WITH THE CIRCUIT CITY RECEIPT. Scan the receipt and take it into ms paint and change contrast and brightness to improve the clarity. You can upload receipts when making the service request. Although they didn't accept it I uploaded a redacted copy of my visa statement (blacked out the other info). They won't accept this but it does have a long transaction number and it may match the receipt (I haven't found my receipt so I can't be sure just yet.

upload the receipt and upload the bank record showing the same amount, transaction code and date and then see if that is good enough.

have a good one.

and to the moderator I understand this is not a cc web site but could use the duplicate receipt and this site shows up on search for that so let me try to help the other guy.

sorry to see cc go. bb guys are usually shifty or clueless or missing..

drkhrse

Posted by drkhrse on June 19, 2009 at 02:19 AM CDT #

Looks like many people have been ripped off with Circuit City being liquidated.

Posted by Dave on March 31, 2010 at 07:25 AM CDT #

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David Dorf, Sr Director Technology Strategy for Oracle Retail, shares news and ideas about the retail industry with a focus on innovation and emerging technologies.


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