In case you haven’t opened your feed reader or checked your favorite tech blogs today, there is more bad news surrounding Circuit City. They have announced the closing of 155 stores across the country (list here). This of course comes on top of the news last week that Sony has stopped shipments to them, in mid shipment, because they are afraid that Circuit City can’t pay for the shipments. The NYSE also warned Circuit City that they are about to have their stock listing removed because it has been below $1 for over 30 days. At this point, it would be hard for news to get much worse about Circuit City.
Best Buy has been beating the snot out of Circuit City for a while, and it looks like they are chomping at the bit to put the last nail in Circuit City’s coffin. I have never seen why Best Buy has any more appeal than Circuit City, but around here, they are pretty much identical in size, inventory and price. The only real difference I can see is the fact that the Geek Squad is much better known than Circuit City’s Firedog service. Honestly, I hate both companies equally. From the employees that know nothing, to the prices which are disgustingly high compared to what you can find online, both stores can gladly die off as far as I am concerned. When I talk about the stores, instead of using their actual names, I typically refer to them as Worst Buy and Circuit Sucky. The only redeeming quality they have compared to online retailers is that I can get something the day I want it instead of having to wait a day or more to get something shipped. Even then, I hate that I have to pay sales tax when I never have to with most online retailers such as Amazon.
For the sake of getting things when I need them, I am kind of glad that my local Circuit City isn’t one of the ones that is closing. Of course that feeling will quickly vanish as soon as I get trampled by the mob of people that will descend on the store on my favorite holiday of the year, Black Friday. Circuit City has always been apart of my Black Friday tradition, and it will be hard to imagine it not being there in the future. I should probably say that I expect Circuit City to go out of business as early as middle of next year but almost certainly before the decade is over.
I think there are two main factors as to why Circuit City is having such a hard time. #1: Pricing! With the possible exceptions of video games and bargain bin DVDs, I can typically find most of the same items that Circuit City sells online and for much cheaper, often as low as half the price even after shipping! I have gone into the store on a couple of occasions to look for various computer parts, only to get pissed off when I see I have to pay double the online price just because I need it right away. #2: Service! While I have not visited every Circuit City to say that this is true about all of them, for every Circuit City that I have been to, most of the employees don’t know anything more than how to take money. They often can’t tell me about a product, how it compares to other products, or even where a certain product is! To be fair, I have this exact same problem with Best Buy (and the pricing problem to an extent as well). Is it really that hard to find a person that has at least a little knowledge about what they are selling? If you combined the knowledge of all of the Circuit City employees at my local store, it probably wouldn’t even be half of what I know about the products!
Circuit City is hoping the new store closing move will help it become profitable, and while it did bump the stock up over 20%, I don’t think even this can stop its slow slide to death. At this point, I think Circuit City just hopes that it can survive and that nobody tries to put it under before they have tried everything they can.
It is for these reasons that I am not sad to see Circuit Sucky go, and I would likely wet myself in excitement of the same thing happened to Worst Buy.
Are you glad to see Circuit City go? Do you wish that Best Buy would go down with them? Have a fond memory of the stores? Share your thoughts in the comments!