Circuit City is returning with retail stores targeting millennials

By Shawn Knight
Jan 28, 2016
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  1. Circuit City, once synonymous with CRT televisions, Walkmans and beige box PCs, filed for bankruptcy in 2008. When the remaining stores closed their doors for good in March of 2009, many suspected that'd be the last we'd hear of the failed electronics retailer. Systemax acquired what was left of the company a few months later and relaunched its website shortly after.

    The site remained online until late 2012 when Systemax consolidated it under the TigerDirect brand.

    A few months ago, retailer Ronny Shmoel purchased the Circuit City brand and now plans to bring it back from the dead yet again.

    Shmoel and business partner Albert Liniado, who recently shared their plans for the new Circuit City with Twice, say they plan to open their first retail store this June – most likely in the Dallas area. There will also be an online presence with branded and private-label products as well as licensed kiosks, mobile shops and even franchise opportunities.

    As is becoming the norm these days, the retail stores will range from 2,000 to 4,000 square feet and target millennials with products like smartphones, tablets, laptops, wearables, gaming goods, headphones, drones, 3D printers and DIY devices.

    By the end of 2017, Shmoel expects to have as many as 100 corporate-owned Circuit City stores open for business and in due time, upwards of 200 additional franchised locations.

    Artist rendering courtesy Twice

    Permalink to story.

  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,501   +673

    Well, if they get rid of the practice of employee's shadowing your every move, constantly harassing you with the "can I help you" approach, and fall in line with competitor's prices, they might have a chance. But frankly, I was so PO'd at their attitudes I'll never step foot in another CC store again!
  3. MannerMauler

    MannerMauler TS Booster Posts: 97   +18

    I hope they can replace the crippled radioshack as #1 gizmo store, I have so many memories from going to radioshack with my dad and looking at all the stuff they have there. I also hope that they stay low price, what really killed radioshack was how they raised their prices over the years
    rondean2000 and EClyde like this.
  4. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,526   +829

    Yea. And Best Buy is guilt of the exact same thing.

    Not to mention the time circuit city "recovered the data" from our hard drive when I was a child they formatted it without retrieving thousands of photos spanning a decade of my family's life.
  5. axiomatic13

    axiomatic13 TS Booster Posts: 88   +30

    Please no. As a 47 year old man Circuit City has absolutely no "cache" with me anymore. In fact I only remember it as a place I avoided as it was always high pressure sales from the teenage mouthbreathers manning the store.

    This to me seems like a plan of failure from the get-go. Whoever owns this company now needs a new name and a new brand.
  6. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,295   +663

    Strange, at the CC in our area you would never be offered help unless you were a hot chick. That said, I would love to see them return, but not as a ridiculous, overpriced "boutique". I mean, that concept picture looks like a Verizon store. Red is completely overused by the retail industry and its the most unsettling and annoying of colors - it encourages customers to spend as little time as possible in a location. That's why fast food joints use it so you'll get your food and get lost. The only thing worse than over-use of a red is a bland, harsh, monochromatic decor, aka a real-life Metro (and if red is a major color choice, just give up). There have been surveys that prove most consumers hate the obsession with minimalism. That look makes people feel like a business is cheap, fly-by-night and lacking depth. What people DO like is a subdued, stylish environment of medium size - not a hole in the wall but not a Wall Mart, either.

    Convenience and return policies are also becoming more important to a buying public that's better educated. If you don't have the newest, hottest gear in stock in stock or your return policies aren't as generous as those of your online competitors you're done before you start. The major success factor, however, is still price. If you can't come pretty close to matching the major online retailers you'll be nothing but a walk-in catalog. People are willing to pay a modest premium (including tax!) for the convenience of carry-out purchasing, with the emphasis on "modest". This is especially true in smaller markets where a business may be tempted to gouge because their the only brick-and-mortar game in town for what they sell. The truth is that people in less affluent areas are more careful with their money. They'll always choose online over walk-in retail unless their very old fashioned or need something immediately.
  7. Guest17

    Guest17 TS Enthusiast Posts: 92   +37

    I hear Adray's is also coming back. I bought my Leading Edge computer there. Win 3.11, 8 MB RAM, 128 MG hard drive. Back then, sitting there and watching your hard drive defrag was actually 24 minutes of awesome bliss.
  8. SlimJimmy

    SlimJimmy TS Rookie

    Axiomatic13 wrote,

    "Please no. As a 47 year old man Circuit City has absolutely no "cache" with me anymore. In fact I only remember it as a place I avoided as it was always high pressure sales from the teenage mouthbreathers manning the store."

    Why do they even have all those teenage workers there? What is their job, to try and sell as much stuff they can to a customer who only wants to buy one or two items? Do the shoppers need all that help or do they already know what they need? I always know what I want when I go in so no need for a platoon of teenage mouthbreathers. :)

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