Monday, January 19, 2009

Everything Must Go At Circuit City


Say goodbye to yet another retail electronics giant, Circuit City. As you've heard, the chain has announced everything must go, announcing chainwide liquidation this past Friday January 16, 2009.

Yes, the monochrome roulette of retail's death bringer follows one of the most crippling retail seasons in recent time of 2008 and into 2009, and no more than a few weeks after the company announced a mega-sized dose of doze, as expected, the struggling second-best electronics retailer has announced it's seizure to retail la-la land shortly after the post-Christmas season, joining the ranks of other big namers who've folded in recent years (and months, for that matter) including the a 90's boomer chain from New York Nobody Beats The Wiz (later remarketed as just "The Wiz"), CompUSA last Christmas season of '08 and most recently a Massachusetts-based hi-ender Tweeter Etc., whose success mirrored hi-fidelity electronics of the 80's.


TWEETER ETC.; MANCHESTER, CT JUST WEEKS BEFORE CHAINWIDE CLOSURE


TWEETER ETC. FORMERLY AT THE STRUGGLING WATERFORD, CONN. CRYSTAL MALL (TAKEN JAN. 2007)

The chain recently opened stores in Enfield at the Stateline Plaza; placing a years vacated Media Play and most recently a concept "The City" in Torrington in 2007 at the Torrington Fair Plaza replacing Sears Hardware.


"THE CITY" CIRCUIT CITY NEWLY BUILT IN TORRINGTON (TAKEN SHORTLY BEFORE OPENING IN DEC. 2007)

Other stores in Meriden weren't too long leased in a revamped, former Waldbaums plaza outskirts the nearby mall while others with aged looks in Manchester , Trumbull and North Haven had toughed it out through the 90's. Orange had been the one store to close just before the Christmas shopping season at the cusp of 2009.


A NOW YEAR VACANT COMPUSA IN MANCHESTER WILL LIKELY STAY THIS WAY FOR A WHILE LONGER (TAKEN DEC. 2008)

While my own thoughts reflect that of many of Circuit City's harshest critics, and not just for a move that damaged the chain's corporate image, my views are shared on a consumer angle as well as many of its stores struggled to capture the unique flair and competitive model that many prefer in the flashier competitor Best Buy. Heck, that's not too far from a bitter Consumerist's editorial perspective...

It hasn't always been that bad, has it? We never cheer any chains' demise (unless they are truly dreadful organizations, to which Circuit City brushed with years back) so we'll miss them. In a troubling retail economy, it's a time unlike recent years when the slacker chains will have to pay up or pack up as we've seen. With even prominent names like Circuit City going, how far long before some of the suspect chains start shuttering underperforming stores (Kmart and/or anything under the Sears umbrella comes to mind...)

So whose left to take on Best Buy? With all the cleansing that took place in just the last year, premiere electronic giant Best Buy lives on to dominate the market with very little competition on the same level. It seems their closest game is now on par with the department retail market a la Walmart and Target.

The Caldor Rainbow will soon collect an array of vacant storefront shots to better remember the chain's impact on the retail sphere in coming months.

Share your thoughts...

Title image by The Caldor Rainbow; Orange, CT.

10 comments:

greg8370 said...

"everything must go"--another Steely Dan shout out

Alpharisk said...

At least here in Florida, CompUSA lives on! Several stores throughout Florida were purchased by Tiger Direct and used as their retail outlets. From the outside, the stores are identical to their former CompUSA selves. However on the inside, it a much more spartan experience. It kind of makes you feel like you are at a flea market. There are lots of plain brown boxes with labels that say things like "four port hub". They do have some good deals on name brand items. At least here in Jacksonville, we still have CompUSA. Also, a new Best Buy has just opened at St. John's Town Center. Add to that a new HHGReg has recently opened near the Avenues Mall. HHGreg is kind of like a Best Buy, but a little less flash. Now if I just had some money to spend!

Joseph Rifkin said...

Haha I like Greg's comment...

Mark said...

Sigh.

What a shame, isn't it?

I still can't believe the Torrington store is actually closing, THAT's the SECOND time that location closed! First time was when Sears Hardware shut down. Once that store empties, I think the should just demolish the location to save the trouble. It's a BAAAAAAAAAAD location as it is. It's jinxed.

Chris from Newington said...

It's a shame about Circuit City, but there's only so much you can do with a crippling company.

The Newington store is rather large and in a prime retail area on the Turnpike. I hope it either becomes a Christmas Tree Shop or Kohls. It would be a shame to see it sit vacant like Caldor down the road did.

daredevyl83 said...

hahaha i like what greg8370 said!!!

And, actually, the old Caldor site on the 'Pike got converted to a Stew Leonard's late last spring.

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