Circuit City Rises from the Ashes

You may not have noticed, but CircuitCity.com relaunched on May 19th under new management. Systemax bought the Circuit City website for $14 million in cash plus a share of future revenue over the next 30 months. When CompUSA was close to bankruptsy, Systemax bought their website and 16 stores for $30 million back in 2008. Systemax now operates both websites in addition to TigetDirect, a popular website for consumer electronics.

Can Systemax breath new life into Circuit City as they did with CompUSA?

Systemax.pngI toured the site a bit and it seems to be a combination of the old Circuit City and Tiger Direct websites. I assume that all three e-commerce sites are powered by the same supply chain, so their products and prices should be similar. Since I just ordered a Garmin Nuvi 205W GPS (from Kmart for $80), I thought I'd check its price at the three Systemax sites. CircuitCity.com and CompUSA.com had the same listing at $140, but TigetDirect.com did not carry it. All three sites offer similar product information and promotions.

I'd guess that Systemax is already heavily invested in its CompUSA stores and the Retail 2.0 theme, so I doubt the Circuit City stores will be resurected. Nonetheless, I think the Circuit City brand is in good hands since Systemax has a strong record of turning acquisitions around.

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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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