Print 73 comment(s) - last by mindless1.. on Oct 23 at 1:43 AM

This one is going to hurt

Circuit City, the nation's second largest electronics retailer, has been struggling badly in its attempt to compete with industry leader Best Buy.  It replaced its chief executive last month and withdrew its financial outlook for the entire year citing traffic declines, stronger competition and a weak brand, along with a particularly large second quarter loss.  Since Q2 2007, Circuit City has only been profitable for one quarter.

Now a Wall Street Journal report, citing sources close to the company, says that drastic measures may be taken to put the electronics retailer back on course.  Circuit City is reportedly considering closing 150 stores and cutting thousands of employees.  The move would allow Circuit City to liquidate $350M USD in assets and possibly avoid Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The cuts could help Circuit City pay off its leases on its various properties, including its abandoned sites and then renegotiate leases on the remaining stores.

However, the company may consider Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as an alternative to or in addition to the possible closures.  The company has reportedly hired Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP as its bankruptcy counsel, the firm that handled Kmart's Chapter 11 filing.  It has also hired FTI Consulting Inc. to generate an emergency turnaround plan, and Rothschild Inc. to seek out emergency financing in the banking market.

Early this year, Blockbuster Inc. made a $1.35B USD bid for Circuit City.  This bid was later withdrawn, with Blockbuster citing market changes.  With the recent troubles another merger may not be out of the question, though.

Shares of Circuit City stock have dropped 90.7 percent since the year's start due to the plethora of bad news.

Circuit City's current predicament may remind many of CompUSA’s decline.  At its peak, CompUSA had hundreds of locations.  Faced with falling sales, the company was sold and closed virtually all of its locations.  The company brand and its 16 remaining stores were bought by Systemax, owner of the e-tailer TigerDirect.  The CompUSA brand currently has 23 open stores.

If Circuit City were to exit the market, Best Buy would have a virtual monopoly over large, nationwide brick-and-mortar electronics stores.  It would still face competition, though from smaller stores like Fry's, RadioShack, and the remnants of CompUSA and Circuit City.  It would also continue to face growing pressure from online retailers like Newegg who have shown steady growth.

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Mixed bag.
By Motoman on 10/20/2008 3:13:01 PM , Rating: 5
The good:
1. Circuit City stinks in so many ways...let them die such that we need not suffer their existence any further.

The bad:
1. Peeps lose jobs. Even if they are largely clueless themselves.
2. Best Buy gets even more marketshare. And they suck at least as much as Circuit City.

The ugly:
1. Why won't less-sucky places like Micro Center and Fry's put up more stores in major metros so that people who know how much BBY and CC suck can buy the things they need at more reasonable prices with less suckage?
2. Because they're too poor already to deal with BBY's inflated prices to begin with, consumer peeps will probably head to Wal-Mart more often. Adding fuel to their ignoble fire. Furthered by the lack of reasonable alternatives such as in #1.

RE: Mixed bag.
By johnbuk on 10/20/2008 3:30:22 PM , Rating: 2
Sucks only because they are one of the few such stores (along with Best Buy) that we have where I live.

That said, I can count on one hand the number of things I've purchased from them in the last 5 years- one high end HDTV (because it was a good deal and unlike their current round of BS commercials, they would not give me the online price in their store) and a few video games.

Much cheaper usually to buy online from other sources- can find better deals and I don't have to deal with idiot salespeople who try and convince me that I need overpriced service plans and that $100 HDMI cables are better than reasonably priced ones.

RE: Mixed bag.
By 67STANG on 10/20/2008 4:31:08 PM , Rating: 4
This news is quite good. Now I know where to get a Blue Ray player on closeout. No, I don't need the extended service plan... thanks.

RE: Mixed bag.
By michael2k on 10/20/2008 5:43:52 PM , Rating: 2
You do know that many times they actually raise prices right before liquidation? Therefore your "30% off" is really only 5% discount...

RE: Mixed bag.
By Oregonian2 on 10/20/2008 5:52:37 PM , Rating: 2
Prices here on the very last day of the local CompUSA store's liquidation were still higher than one could buy the stuff most elsewhere. Duh.

RE: Mixed bag.
By HOOfan 1 on 10/20/2008 6:05:50 PM , Rating: 2
At my CompUSA for the first few weeks of liquidation they jacked the original price up over MSRP, then took of tiny percentages off...especially big sellers like hard drives. Later on they dropped the prices down to around MSRP and gave fairly decent percentages off of the type of stuff I was looking for, mainly Power Supplies. I got an HX620 for $100 straight up. Even with rebates they are more expensive than that at the moment. If I had waited another week or so I would have probably gotten it for $80 (except mine was the last on the shelf). However the fast moving stuff was already gone, probably sold off wholesale.

RE: Mixed bag.
By strikeback03 on 10/21/2008 8:49:10 AM , Rating: 2
I got the same PSU for the same price. Was the only component they had which was cheaper than Newegg.

RE: Mixed bag.
By 67STANG on 10/20/2008 6:45:58 PM , Rating: 2
Good. I'll wait for the 70% off sale.

RE: Mixed bag.
By Oregonian2 on 10/20/2008 5:51:12 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure if I'm different, but I find it no trouble whatsoever in just saying no to the extended warranty or high-priced cables. I nearly never get resistance to a "no thanks" -- and the few times where they may try the extended warranty again, I just use the "If what you're selling me is so unreliable that it needs an extended warranty, maybe I shouldn't buy it from you to begin with. Is it going to break down right after the manufacture's warranty expires?" -- and that ends it.

RE: Mixed bag.
By JazzMang on 10/21/2008 1:49:06 AM , Rating: 2
"If what you're selling me is so unreliable that it needs an extended warranty, maybe I shouldn't buy it from you to begin with. Is it going to break down right after the manufacture's warranty expires?"

Because if you buy that product somewhere else its going to be more reliable? Sorry, logic fail.

RE: Mixed bag.
By mcnabney on 10/21/2008 10:57:05 AM , Rating: 2
Those Circuit City extended warranties are often only good if you return the product to a Circuit City. If CC closes, your warranty goes with it.

RE: Mixed bag.
By aj28 on 10/21/2008 8:17:35 PM , Rating: 2
Actually CC warranties are managed by GE Assurant soooo the only thing you'd lose is carry-in service.

RE: Mixed bag.
By Oregonian2 on 10/21/2008 1:05:32 PM , Rating: 2
Um... your logic fails as well in missing the point. Actually missing two points. Maybe three. First point is that the phrase I use doesn't "threaten" that I'll buy the same thing from someone else. I threaten not buying it at all. Secondly, that doesn't matter to the sales droid because I'd not be buying from HIM, so he doesn't get his commission -- and THAT is why the statement was being made. Third point is that it works, which is the ultimate point I was making. I've actually done that a few times, and it actually worked instantly each time. If you don't want or need my method of handling the situation, that's fine, ignore it -- for those who do: "it works".

RE: Mixed bag.
By tehbiz on 10/21/08, Rating: 0
RE: Mixed bag.
By Oregonian2 on 10/21/2008 7:29:18 PM , Rating: 2
If you look at my "original" comment, I said that the vast majority of the time my just saying "no" once was adequate. This includes purchases at both BB and CC, I didn't mean a specific store. The times where the salesman pushed beyond my "no" was at CompUSA (they did occasionally have some product that others didn't have in stock, so I had to buy there despite the prices). Didn't mention this because it wasn't relevant to what I was saying because I was talking both generically about the salesman situation (they have to act first) and talking about my real life experiences (that I didn't think arguable).

I did get pushed a little on the $150 HDMI cables at a BB subsidiary when I bought a $4400 plasma TV last year -- my reliability ploy doesn't work in that case. Just had to repeat "no" several times.

P.S. - You would NOT logically get me to say that in general the extended service plan was a good idea, because it's not (and Consumer Reports is someone you'd have to convince as well because they say "not" as well). There can be special cases where they are, but not generally.

RE: Mixed bag.
By techpro on 10/22/08, Rating: 0
RE: Mixed bag.
By Oregonian2 on 10/22/2008 2:47:43 PM , Rating: 2
I could write at length, but you don't know what you're talking about, and I'll leave it at that. But I'll leave with one point. If the probability of something failing is 1~2% (based on survey based statistics) and a service contract costs 15% of the product's cost, then it's a bad bet buying that contract. These are the actual stats of something I recently bought, btw, including the service contract price (3-year extension)). It's this statistical analysis that CR's opinion is based. As to cables, I'll just say that I'm an EE of thirty years design experience (who just went to a National Semi dog and pony show about their LVDS signal conditioning components that open up the eye patterns) and my confidence in evaluating cables is enough not to worry about your comments. Sorry about you getting axed at CC, their doing that is a huge blotch on the company in my eyes because I liked the folk there more than other places before their purge of experienced folk.

RE: Mixed bag.
By quiksilvr on 10/20/2008 3:38:03 PM , Rating: 3
It's just the first step to purely digital purchases. In time consumers will grow a brain and realize that buying things alone is much cheaper:

God I hate Best Buy...

RE: Mixed bag.
By quiksilvr on 10/20/2008 3:39:48 PM , Rating: 2
Oh and one more thing. This is addressed to Jason: It's not a monopoly if Wal Mart exists...

RE: Mixed bag.
By Motoman on 10/20/2008 3:51:26 PM , Rating: 3
In time consumers will grow a brain

Oh my...laughed so hard I nearly choked.

The VAST majority of consumers are blithering idiots, afraid of and/or incapable of buying anything online, and who mindlessly do whatever the magic picture box in the living room tells them to do. Which is to go to BBY.

That will not be changing any time soon.

RE: Mixed bag.
By nineball9 on 10/20/2008 5:25:58 PM , Rating: 2
Some, perhaps many, do not use the internet for purchases. However, the internet is not always the best choice.

While I make many of my purchases online, there are some items which I need to see/hear/try before purchasing. For instance, I always listen to (quality) speakers in-store instead of buying them blind via the internet.

RE: Mixed bag.
By mindless1 on 10/20/2008 5:41:25 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, sometimes paying that few % more to see it, try it, have it quickly or return it without unnecessary shipping costs for larger items is worth it. While I prefer online shopping for most items, CC stores closing is bad news even for those who never shop there.

RE: Mixed bag.
By chick0n on 10/20/08, Rating: -1
RE: Mixed bag.
By mindless1 on 10/23/2008 1:43:31 AM , Rating: 1
Who wrote Bose? Frankly, you're thinking in terms of an idiot. I have a good sounding stereo system in more besides my HT system. What about bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, garage, basement, etc?

Thinking high end for all these when most will only need reasonably sound instead of high-end, it silly. Every purpose has the right end.

RE: Mixed bag.
By AFMatt on 10/21/2008 2:48:25 AM , Rating: 2
I like to see/hear/try as well, but I go to BB or the nearest like store and see the items, then go find them online for cheaper.

RE: Mixed bag.
By Samus on 10/20/2008 4:47:35 PM , Rating: 3
You do understand Fry's and Microcenter have the industry-worst customer satisfaction and the worst employee benifits. That's why they're so much cheaper.

Read consumer reports or just talk to employee's at these places. But hey, at least you didn't mention CompUSA (not that it matters anymore, lol) or TigerDirect (who probably has the worst reputation of customer service in existance.)

RE: Mixed bag.
By Motoman on 10/20/2008 4:58:24 PM , Rating: 2
Hmmm...well, I've returned things to Fry's before without hassle...and at Micro Center too. That's the extent of what I can say about their customer service. Can't comment on how they treat their employees, as I have not been one and don't know any...although I reckon it's probably not unreasonable to expect them to be more-or-less like the rest of the retail industry (likely somewhat sucky). The staff at Micro Center do seem generally knowledgable too, as opposed to the know-nothings typically working at BBY etc.

From a pure consumer point of view though, their prices are darn close to on-line a lot of the time (especially Micro Center), and they tend to have a good selection to choose from. So from my standpoint as a consumer, either are vastly preferable to BBY or any other B&M place.

Ironically, I noticed a lot of CompUSA branded stuff on sale at the Micro Center (not really) near mer a while ago.

RE: Mixed bag.
By exanimas on 10/22/2008 12:07:05 AM , Rating: 2
Anytime you go to a retail store, you're going to find that a majority of the employees don't have a clue what they're talking about. The reason is really simple: They don't pay enough to get knowledgeable and committed people. You aren't going to find a bunch of people who know everything about computers that are willing to work for $10.50 an hour.

At the Best Buy I work at, I've actually heard employees say (in regard to a sale/product info etc), "They don't pay me enough to care." In a way, it's true. The amount of work I do as a tech there isn't worth what they pay me IMO. I could find an entry-level IT support job somewhere else and make about $10K more a year and do a lot less work, as well as take a lot less abuse from people upset at me for things that are out of my control (prices, policies, etc). If things go right, that's exactly what I'm going to do.

RE: Mixed bag.
By feraltoad on 10/21/2008 3:14:51 AM , Rating: 2
I've never had a problem with TigerDirect. They screw u over?

RE: Mixed bag.
By jojo29 on 10/21/2008 1:52:30 PM , Rating: 2
I do not agree with your comment. If by Customer Satisfaction you are referring to returned goods and refunds then Besty Buy is adequate.

See, in my experience, Fry's has had the BEST Customer Service and Employees. They are knowledgeable and try to help you right away. I've been to 2 Frys' the one in San Diego and the one in Burbank, California of course.

Now, i've been to FOUR Best Buy's )(Palmdale, Porter Ranch, Palm Springs, Riverside) AND EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM had HORRIBLE Customer Service, anytime i would find a rep, and ask them a question, they said, sorry not my department, or let me find someone to help you, only to have to wait over 30minutes only to have me leave.

Circuit City's Customer service is much better than best buys. I have bought all 4 of my Sony HDTVs from them, simply because as i was browsing, i had a rep ask me if needed any help, which to me surprised me because at BB, this NEVER happens, i usually have to either LOOK for someone to ask, or just walk out and buy online.

RE: Mixed bag.
By Spuke on 10/20/2008 5:44:25 PM , Rating: 2
The good: 1. Circuit City stinks in so many ways...let them die such that we need not suffer their existence any further.
LMAO!!! Now THIS belongs at the bottom of the page.

RE: Mixed bag.
By Hiawa23 on 10/21/2008 8:55:07 AM , Rating: 2
I have shopped at both CC & BB for 15 or so years, & BB has always appealed more to me, everything from it's brightly lit stores, the layout, I have always been a Bestbuy fan & mostly all my elctronics, music, DVDs, videogames are bought from them. Rewardzone has been rewarding, & many have seen the decline of Circuit City coming for years now. I hope they don't fold cause my first option is usually Best Buy, then Circuit City 2nd, but generally most of the BBs I go to, the stores are clean, everything is organized, videogames up to date, then you go to CC & it's the total opposite.

RE: Mixed bag.
By ShaolinSoccer on 10/22/2008 12:35:29 AM , Rating: 2
Circuit City just has bad management. They pretty much let their employees be lazy and that just looks bad. One thing though, they have good clearance sales. I have bought many things from CC these past few months. Bought Crysis for $20. A 4GB pro 2 duo memory card for $25 that works fine in the Sony PSP I bought from CC. Bought my first intel PC back in 1999 from CC for a very good price. Lots of other stuff. Right now they got a PC games clearance going on. You can buy City of Heroes for $4.99. Some games are less than a dollar. If they close the store here where I live, that will be bad news for me. I been shopping there since I was 15 and I'm now 36. So this really is bad news to me...

Every smart consumer goes online to buy
By gigahertz20 on 10/20/2008 3:30:02 PM , Rating: 5
Places like Circuit City and Best Buy can not compete with online retailers like Newegg. The only people I know of that go to retail stores to buy expensive items are people that are clueless of how to find things online, or are otherwise paranoid of purchasing something using their credit card online.

All you have to do is look at the mark-up places like Best Buy put on their products, and compare those prices to a place like Newegg.

You can't forget the sales tax you get stuck with as well when you purchase from a brick and mortar location.

RE: Every smart consumer goes online to buy
By Bateluer on 10/20/2008 3:48:15 PM , Rating: 3
I tend to buy large items from B&M stores because the shipping costs can be outrageous. And sometimes you want to inspect and compare multiple items side by side. You can't compare the displays of LCD TVs at Newegg with actual TV programs.

Some times you can get better deals at Costco, Sams, Amazon, Newegg, or even BB. Any informed consumer will be shopping around.

RE: Every smart consumer goes online to buy
By FITCamaro on 10/20/2008 4:09:41 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I don't want to have to ship my TV back if it gets damaged in transit. Or if something goes wrong.

RE: Every smart consumer goes online to buy
By chmilz on 10/20/2008 6:54:03 PM , Rating: 1
I buy things like TV's, stereo, etc in B&M stores purely for the ease of return. I can take it home and use it for 20+ days and if it doesn't perform like I expect it to, I just take it back. A ridiculous pain in the butt to do the same online.

Oh, and I'm in Canada, so shipping is usually significantly more than in the US, often negating any savings.

By BillyAZ1983 on 10/21/2008 4:08:20 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I don't want to have to ship my TV back if it gets damaged in transit. Or if something goes wrong.

I buy things like TV's, stereo, etc in B&M stores purely for the ease of return. I can take it home and use it for 20+ days and if it doesn't perform like I expect it to, I just take it back. A ridiculous pain in the butt to do the same online.

Exactly! The last time I bought set of speakers on-line that I thought I would be saving money on by buying from an onlin e-tailer instead of a B&M, I had not one but two sets of defective speakers and got charge shipping twice in order to RMA it. Plus, I had some computer parts where they tell me I have to deal with manufacturer and I had to pay them just to create an RMA. How stupid and inconvienent is that?

Besides, depnding on how nice you are, you can usually butter up salesmen and they can cut you a better deal on whatever it is you're buying. An online store won't do that.

The cost of shipping an item the size of a TV is just rediculous. In some cases, I've seen it where sales tax was cheaper then the actual shipment would have been.

RE: Every smart consumer goes online to buy
By awer26 on 10/20/2008 4:56:49 PM , Rating: 3
You can't compare the displays of LCD TVs at Newegg with actual TV programs.

No, but you can compare them at a B&M store then buy that model online ;)

By mindless1 on 10/20/2008 5:46:30 PM , Rating: 2
... in which case the B&M makes no money, shuts down, and you don't have that luxury anymore. Someone offering you a service deserves a little money thrown their way every now and then, at least enough to stay in business if you value being about to see products in person and sometimes that is very helpful.

By michael2k on 10/20/2008 5:46:34 PM , Rating: 2
Not if they all close...

Good Guys bought out by CompUSA...
CompUSA closes...
Circuit City closing...

What will you have left? Target, WalMart, Best Buy, and Costco?

RE: Every smart consumer goes online to buy
By KoreyJ on 10/21/2008 4:53:53 AM , Rating: 2
For example, my situation...The Samung 32" LN32A450C1D LCD TV I recently purchased.

at Best Buy B&M: $699 (at its cheapest) = sales tax


NewEgg: $624.99, no sales tax, free shipping .

The obvious winner: NewEgg.

The TV looks great as the one I saw in Best Buy and it got here in 2 days. :)

RE: Every smart consumer goes online to buy
By theapparition on 10/21/2008 8:15:56 AM , Rating: 2
NewEgg: $624.99, no sales tax, free shipping . mean deferred sales tax, right? Since you are legally obligated to report out-of-state purchases on your state income tax report.

I'll take it that you just forgot that, not that you were actually intending to defraud your state government. Never know who reads these boards.

By strikeback03 on 10/21/2008 8:52:04 AM , Rating: 2
In NY at least, you don't (at the moment) have to pay actual tax rate on purchases under $1000 from the internet, there is just a flat fee of $15 to cover those you can choose to pay.

RE: Every smart consumer goes online to buy
By Oregonian2 on 10/20/2008 5:33:04 PM , Rating: 2
They couldn't compete with the old newegg, but I've found myself occasionally buying things from circuit city's online store and then stopping by to pick it up on the way home (slight detour) -- and have it cheaper than NewEgg with shipping included. Now, mind you, their inventories are very different, and I'm only talking about a small portion of that which overlaps, but I've found Circuit City good competition for NewEgg sometimes of late. Just saw an ad where CC says their online prices are now the same as in the store. I presume they've raised their online prices. Oh well.

Now.. in the olden days, NewEgg would have blown them to smithereens, but NewEgg prices aren't so low as they used to be, and shipping has been going up (even though most NewEgg stuff comes from only one state away).

We've also Fry's here as well, but it's about 20 miles away and while they have tremendous selection (their strength), their "normal" prices aren't any better than Circuit City or Best Buy that I've seen except when they've stuff on sale (where their price is fantastic for those few people who got one before they ran out -- usually not me).

Used to have a CompUSA nearby (and a "Good Guys" which was near there before CompUSA bought them out). Horrible horrible prices and even worse customer service (picture lines of people at a *single* open checkout stand, and the one cashier offering to take the tiny package of goods out to the customer's car for her (admittedly she was, well, .. you get the picture).

By theapparition on 10/21/2008 8:22:48 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. I really did like CC's buy online, pick up at the store. I usually found prices competitive, and for some things, it was actually cheaper.

One time, I had a drive in a raid 1 array go down, and it was replaced in 40 min, vs having to cross my fingers for a few days with Newegg. Sure, I paid a whooping $5 more for that convience, but it was worth it.

I have a BB and CC about 10 minutes from my house. Imagine my surprise, with all of Circuit City's troubles, when I just saw a new CC store opening up right around the corner, literally 1 minute away. How many stores do they need in an area?

By Ilostmymojo on 10/21/2008 2:01:01 AM , Rating: 2
I bought my Samsung 26" monitor from BB for 250 bucks. It was a display Model but they had new one for 281. Never seen newegg come close to that! Would be a lot easier to return too. Especially with Newegg's dead pixel policy. Bought my E8500 from Fry's for 149.00. Other than that i usually buy from Newegg.

Smaller stores like Fry's?
By djreedps on 10/20/2008 6:07:15 PM , Rating: 2
The author of this article has obviously never been in a Fry's Electronics store. The Fry's stores in terms of square feet and selection of products are huge. The Fry's chain has a smaller number of stores than Best Buy, but that is not what the author said.

As for Circuit City, they needed to figure out what the customer wanted. The last time I went to a Circuit City to buy something, I was attacked by at least five different salespeople within five minutes. I got very angry and walked out. The Circuit City stores also have no ambiance. They are incredibly brightly lit, with little color. The floors are hard tile instead of softer carpet or plasticized tile. Fry's also has brightly lit stores, but at least Fry's has a theme for each store.

I will not be sad to see Circuit City close. They seemed to want to tell the customers what we wanted instead of listening to us.

RE: Smaller stores like Fry's?
By strikeback03 on 10/21/2008 8:55:24 AM , Rating: 2
umm, it's a store, not a coffee shop. Shouldn't it be brightly lit? Our old CC had tile in the main corridors and carpet between racks of stuff, haven't been far enough into the new one to see.

RE: Smaller stores like Fry's?
By Hiawa23 on 10/21/2008 11:00:29 AM , Rating: 2
I don't agreee with some of the staements some have made that paint most consumers as dummies. I consider myself well informed about all the electronics I buy. I buy stuff on the online sites, usually small stuff, but I like to go out to the stores & see the products, just me, I know, probably the minority, especially for items like TVs, & electronics.

RE: Smaller stores like Fry's?
By kattanna on 10/21/2008 11:18:12 AM , Rating: 2
maybe they have only been to a frys in places like arizona where they are in fact grocery stores.. LOL

always makes me laugh when i go visit my parents.

My $0.02
By FranksAndBeans on 10/21/2008 1:10:20 AM , Rating: 2
CC is doomed, it is a similar situation to GM. There are just too many flaws and while the outfit is salvageable the chances of them somehow implementing the correct combination of fixes is just impossible.

Frankly, I'll be sad to see them go because an electronics store that isn't moving product, happens to have great deals on all the "old" product they have to clear out. If you know what you are looking for CC clearance deals are just wonderful, and despite what many people may think, CC will still dicker on pricing if you are smart about it. And though it is a cliche, any loss of competition is bad for the consumer. BB's prices haven't gotten better as they've gotten bigger.

CC stores are grungy and even if they are right across the street from a BB, they manage to be in the run-down shopping center. Housekeeping and appearance matters to the high spending shoppers that buy monster cables & top tier products. BB knows this, they've even said they don't care to have bargain hunters. It hasn't hurt them.

In my large metro area, maybe 2 of the 10 CC shops are actually ran by someone who cares. The difference in appearance, stock management, sales approach, display quality, etc. are night and day. This can't possibly be the result of any sort of corporate policy, the disparity is just too big. Maybe salary differences are large from location to location, I'm not sure. But a store is clearly only as good as its management team and resultant worker discipline. If you don't spend the money on quality people, the business can't work unless it has an exclusive product.

In the 8 badly ran CC's... it really is work to buy something unless it is a pickup and carry item you can take to the register. Display rooms aren't setup and systems are half setup or missing parts. Anything that requires salesman involvement is so much more painful than it should be.

Sorry CC. My bargain hunting self is going to really miss you.

RE: My $0.02
By HOOfan 1 on 10/21/2008 7:52:49 AM , Rating: 2
"CC stores are grungy and even if they are right across the street from a BB, they manage to be in the run-down shopping center. Housekeeping and appearance matters to the high spending shoppers that buy monster cables & top tier products."

In my area, the exact opposite is true. Circuit City is constantly remodeling their stores to keep them neat looking, while the Best Buys look like a messy Wal-Mart, with products slung all over the place and out of their home locations. Circuit City employees actively seek you out, but Best Buy employees are too busy gabbing with each other to help you, and when they see customers coming, head the other way. Not to mention when you get one that does want to help you, they don't know that much.

CompUSA however had the worst customer service in my area and now they are gone.

RE: My $0.02
By Spivonious on 10/21/2008 7:56:36 AM , Rating: 2
heh, both CC and BBY in my area are like your BBY.

By FITCamaro on 10/20/2008 3:14:37 PM , Rating: 1
They offer some higher end stuff that Best Buy doesn't.

But its not surprising.

Biggest reason I go to Best Buy for some stuff is cause the service plans are cheaper if I choose to buy it. And product cost isn't an issue since both price match. As far as DVDs and video games, I go to whoever is the cheapest. Except Walmart. Don't shop there.

RE: Sad
By djc208 on 10/20/2008 4:18:12 PM , Rating: 2
CC tends to have a better selection of pieces/parts too.

The RewardZone thing at BB is a good idea too, CC really needs to copy it, it helps pull people into the stores.

If I'm going to buy something from one of them I usually do BB since I might as well earn a little extra for it. Got my parents an HDTV last year for X-mas. They price-matched to CC for a lower price, and the RZ coupon got me double points so I got about $30 in certificates I used for me stuff.

RE: Sad
By FITCamaro on 10/20/2008 5:26:31 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah the Reward Zone program is pretty nice. Doesn't hurt to earn a little "cash back" from your DVD and game purchases.

Online retailers
By TerranMagistrate on 10/20/2008 3:35:40 PM , Rating: 2
Like (especially) Newegg will continue to gnaw away at Best Buy's marketshare along with every other major brick-and-mortar eletronics retail chain.

Circuit City is getting demolished now but I suspect that Best Buy will be going down that same path eventually.

RE: Online retailers
By mindless1 on 10/20/2008 5:49:09 PM , Rating: 2
Unless Walmart expands their inventory more than is reasonably possible, there will always be a market for one major B&M electronics retailer. It's just a shame that it may end up being Bestbuy, though CC wasn't up for the job either.

By The0ne on 10/20/2008 4:00:10 PM , Rating: 2
While I myself like Frys I don't think it's a company that's doing much good for it's employees. Turn-over rates are high, services are meh with mostly teenagers or the elderly around to assist you.

Prices are ok on the sales items but many other inventory items are still costly to purchase therefore really voiding the argument of "pricing" with other retailers.

I do, however, like Microcenter much better. The sales rep are knowlegeable (at least I haven't run into one that isn't) about products you ask for. They don't BS you around or give answers that tell you they are clueless. Having said that the closest one to me is 70 miles away where Frys is right down the street :)

As for Circuit City going down, I had average experiences when them here in San Diego. I'm so-so on them not doing so well I guess :)

RE: Frys
By Noya on 10/21/2008 1:17:18 AM , Rating: 2
The only thing I like about Fry's are their home theater demo rooms with the massaging recliners and 1080p projectors!

By Borkil on 10/20/2008 4:40:38 PM , Rating: 2
well this kinda sucks, for me at least, seeing as how circuit city is the only electronic store in my town, well i guess we do have target and 2 walmarts but anyways the nearest best buy or fry's is about 45 mins away

RE: crap
By Motoman on 10/20/2008 5:00:37 PM , Rating: 2
Fry's is easily worth a 45 minute drive. We have no Fry's in the state I live in, but we have a Micro Center that's about an hour drive from me. If I need stuff and can't wait for shipping, I don't hesitate to drive to Micro Center. The difference in price of, say, one hard drive between them and BBY is more than worth the cost of the fuel it took to get there and back.

By rickon66 on 10/20/2008 6:19:21 PM , Rating: 2
When all the B & M stores are gone, where are you going to go and try out stuff that you are interested in buying. I buy most of my computer components online, but I need to personally eyeball and hear some items. TV screens, computer cases, monitors, speakers, cameras are some of the thing that I need to see, hear and feel before I buy them. After CompUSA closed there is no place around here to personally look at computer cases in the flesh. I for one, don't want to be limited to looking at pictures at Newegg when I choose a new HD TV. If you don't like a store, by all means avoid it, but why do some seem so happy when a chain is about to close and the employees lose their jobs. The more local competition the better!

By FITCamaro on 10/21/2008 8:33:37 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. A processor is a processor. But a TV, I want to see it before I buy it. Same with a surround sound system. And if I'm going to go into a store to see something, I'm going to buy it there. I'll pay a little more for the convenience of bringing it back if I have a problem.

Close 'em!
By Jellodyne on 10/20/2008 3:18:02 PM , Rating: 2
Turn 'em into Fry's!

who cares?
By Roy2001 on 10/20/2008 3:39:50 PM , Rating: 2
Be frankly I don't remember when did I visit BB/CC last time. I visit Frys maybe once a year. Everything from online.

By strikeback03 on 10/20/2008 4:28:11 PM , Rating: 2
The closest Circuit City to where I live just built a new store, so they must figure they can make more money.

Last time I was there I was interested in trying an Archos 5 IMT. As the price is the same as online I would have even considered buying one there. However, they did not have one in display and had no interest in opening one up. If I can't try before I buy and get stuck with the same restocking fees and such, why would I buy from them instead of Amazon or another online retailer?

By HOOfan 1 on 10/20/2008 5:50:49 PM , Rating: 2
There are at least 3 stores now in Henrico County alone. Two of those stores are within 2 miles of each other. Sure Henrico is home to their corporate headquarters, but if they in such trouble, why have then opened a new store, not to mention opening a new store about 6 years ago only 2 miles away from another store.

Retail Paradigm Shift
By teckytech9 on 10/21/2008 2:31:55 AM , Rating: 2
The high-tech retail commerce landscape is rapidly changing with technological e-commerce improvements. Clearly, manufactures are opening up storefronts in cyberspace directly linked to their very own factory machinery. Once an order is clicked, the churning starts for rapid product delivery.

I'd imagine that tech savvy consumers would flock to Vegas once a year to see what is the latest and greatest. Also read a non-biased review or two from some consumer reporting website. The possibility of missing out on the touchy, feelin', and seein' is believin' experience could be obtained by traveling showrooms. If one is not available, then they may as well just send the product directly for a free trial!

In my opinion, the best prices can only come directly from the manufacturer. This leaves any remaining brick-and-mortar stores selling the same products towards the expensive side.

By Ryanman on 10/21/2008 11:30:43 AM , Rating: 2
They happen to be building one a mile or two away from where I live on US280.

It's always wierd to see these places firing people and closing stores, while continuing to expand elsewhere.

By Reclaimer77 on 10/21/2008 7:35:41 PM , Rating: 2
First Comp USA now Circuit City ! I hope they close and we got 2 for 2 on getting rid of suck ass big box electronic stores. Bad prices, bad service, and went WAY too long without competition.

Circuit City...
By SoylentG on 10/22/2008 9:28:34 AM , Rating: 2
...has done a great job of reducing pricing across the board. They're one of the main motivators for price drops in electronics, and one of the more frequently price matched retailers (excluding Fry's, who doesn't qualify based on having terrible customer service and repackaging used product). Good riddance I say, let the other retailers get a higher market share, and a higher profit per unit sold by reducing this "we'll sell for less and not make any profit if we don't sell a $100 HDMI crap. It's good for business as a whole.

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