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is Circuit City Dead? (Closing 155 stores in 2008)

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is Circuit City Dead? (Closing 155 stores in 2008)

Old 04-01-08, 09:09 PM
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So does anyone know the reason CC doesn't have employees man the registers like a normal store? Is it just a legacy from housing bigger appliances and commission sales?

It's such a common complaint that I don't understand why they wouldn't change.
Old 04-01-08, 09:19 PM
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Circuit City is terrible. I worked seasonal at Best Buy my freshman year of college, and about a month after I was done there, I applied and got hired at Circuit City. It took me two weeks before I was fed up and quit. The management was awful, and there was absolutely NO BUSINESS TAKING PLACE. I worked an 8 hour shift one day and literally had three customers to check out. Pathetic.

However, recently, I did manage to come into the store at 8:50pm, wait around for two minutes for an employee at the Customer Service Desk, and still manage to get a return processed by 8:54pm, in time to speed over to Best Buy and purchase what I really wanted before 9pm. My whole plan was dependent upon CC being competent and they actually came through for once.
Old 04-01-08, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by BravesMG
I just purchased a 1080p projector for about $2300 with the warranty from Circuit City, and I'm kind of concerned that they won't be around for years to take advantage of the service plan. I haven't opened it yet, and I'm strongly debating taking it back, even though I got a hell of a deal.
Even if CC shuts down, I believe the CityAdvantage service plan is through GE Zurich, a third-party company. So it should still be honored in a post-CC world.
Old 04-01-08, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by fumanstan
So does anyone know the reason CC doesn't have employees man the registers like a normal store? Is it just a legacy from housing bigger appliances and commission sales?

It's such a common complaint that I don't understand why they wouldn't change.
When I worked at CC (albeit a decade ago), the customer service counter was always manned and customers could take product up to any employee in the store to check out (and there were always free employees roaming around that people could flag down).

Then again, that was before they fired all their competent employees and replaced them with lazy-ass drones. My local one here in NYC is incredible in its absolute disregard for customer service. I went in looking for high-end LCD monitors and it took me 15 minutes to find a single person to help at 9pm when there were barely any customers (and he simply told me they didn't carry any). There were just no employees, and those that were around said they couldn't help and wouldn't find someone who could. I can't recall a recent retail company who deserves to go out of business more than CC. It's like they're begging the sector to put them out of their misery.
Old 04-02-08, 12:14 AM
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The comments on CNET are better than the article.

At my CC store, Verizon's "Sorry, I Don't Work Here" associates who are positioned in the center of the store, are not a helpful image and it's a rude slap in the consumer's face.

I made a purchase today, and noticed my clerk was not only ringing me up, but answering questions on the phone at the same time. Now, I don't know if this is policy or not, but this is just bullshit. You don't have a clerk fielding phonecalls when they are checking out a customer.

Best Buy's in-store pickup has finally become more disciplined where I go. Probably got tired of giving out $10 GC's. But still, a bunch of teenagers and a 20-something "manager" who couldn't give a shit about customer service.
Old 04-02-08, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by BJacks
Even if CC shuts down, I believe the CityAdvantage service plan is through GE Zurich, a third-party company. So it should still be honored in a post-CC world.
That's what I think I read in the warranty itself, but the hassle just wasn't worth the cost. I took back the projector yesterday and I'm trying to wait out a Best Buy sale or find somewhere else reasonable.
Old 04-06-08, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by UAIOE
The reason I don't go into CC is because the store here has a pitiful selection of CD's and DVD's and the way it is organized is atrocious. The reason I shop at Best Buy anymore is the fact I can actually *find* what I want in store without a blue shirted guide.
I couldn't agree more about the organization problems at CC. Although they recently revamped their section at the closest store to me (Exton, PA). I think their selection is dismal compared to Best Buy. On the other hand, I haven't spent much $ at Best Buy either. I don't really have one close to me anymore, so I usually make out better buying at Walmart and price matching or Target when they have bonus discs. Recently, though I bought a couple of DVDs online from their last sale and paid the $1.99 shipping rather than the $5 or more in gas to drive to the Wilmington, DE location.

Generally speaking, I used to price match at CC all the time when I lived in Delaware County because the Best Buy was always too crowded. However, I always felt their was an "attitude" from the sales clerks for purchases and returns.
Old 04-07-08, 06:12 PM
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The CC's around here have always been poor.

The stupid customer service checkout as mentioned previously, 20 year old signature capture devices that I have to sign my name on 8 frickin' times, sale items never in stock, poor organization - it's just annoying to shop there.

Good example - a couple years ago the CC near me reorganized their DVD sections into one long row per shelf instead of segmenting them into sections. So basically, A-D for instance would run about 18 feet. Whoever alphabetized them only did so by the first letter. The M's started wiith the Mummy, had the Machinist somewhere in the middle, and Men In Black at the end. Classic.
Old 04-07-08, 07:35 PM
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The one good thing about the crappy circuit city stocking practices (and them not updating the shelf tags): it's sometimes a little easier to find clearance stuff after the fact, since there's no way for a regular customer to know about a price drop.

Also, their crappy systems which can apparently only update once a day also can frequently be taken in by price mistakes that happen on a national level, and can't be corrected until the next day. It is a wonder they're still in business.
Old 04-08-08, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by fujishig
The one good thing about the crappy circuit city stocking practices (and them not updating the shelf tags): it's sometimes a little easier to find clearance stuff after the fact, since there's no way for a regular customer to know about a price drop.

Also, their crappy systems which can apparently only update once a day also can frequently be taken in by price mistakes that happen on a national level, and can't be corrected until the next day. It is a wonder they're still in business.
Ahh yes, I remember getting my Office S2 set for $17 there.
Old 04-09-08, 10:53 AM
  #36  
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...src=newsletter

Circuit City Swings to 4Q Profit

By MICHAEL FELBERBAUM
The Associated Press
Wednesday, April 9, 2008; 11:35 AM



RICHMOND, Va. -- Struggling electronics retailer Circuit City Stores Inc. said Wednesday it swung to a fiscal fourth-quarter profit, as cost cutting offset lower sales for a period that included the bulk of the crucial holiday-shopping season.

Analysts had been expecting a loss for the December-February period on higher revenue for the company which hadn't seen a quarterly profit since the second quarter of 2007. Its shares slipped in late morning trading.

The nation's second biggest electronics retailer said it earned $4.85 million, or 3 cents per share, in the three months ended Feb. 29 versus a loss of $4.25 million, or 3 cents per share, a year earlier. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial predicted a loss of 7 cents per share and Circuit City forecast a modest loss.

Philip J. Schoonover, Circuit City's chief executive told investors in a conference call that while, fiscal year 2008 was disappointing, the fourth quarter showed progress.

"We remain confident that we are on the right track," Schoonover said. "We are implementing the right strategies with the right talent and processes to lead us to a successful turnaround and position us for long-term profitable growth."

The company said it achieved approximately $65 million in reduced costs and expenses in the quarter from continued structural changes.

That more than offset an 8 percent decline in revenue to $3.65 billion from $3.95 billion last year. Analysts expected revenue of $3.79 billion. Same-store sales, or sales in stores open at least one year, fell 10.4 percent.

Its shares fell 12 cents to $4.42 in morning trading after trading as high as $5.05 earlier in the day.

Last week, bigger rival Best Buy Co. Inc. reported earnings of $737 million in earnings for its fourth quarter, a 3 percent drop from the previous year.

For the full year, Circuit City lost $319.9 million, or $1.95 per share, compared to a loss of $8.3 million, or 6 cents per share, during the prior year. Revenue fell to $11.7 billion from $12.4 billion a year ago. For the year, Circuit City saved $200 million from the structural changes to cut costs.

Circuit City projected that 2009 consolidated net sales will remain relatively unchanged compared with the prior year. For the first quarter, the company expects a loss from continuing operations before taxes of $180 million to $195 million, due to weak operating trends.

The company is facing pressure from Mark J. Wattles, an activist shareholder seeking the ouster of Schoonover and Circuit City's board of directors.

Wattles Capital Management, which owns a 6.5 percent stake in the company, has said turnaround efforts under Schoonover have been "disastrous" and he should be replaced. He also suggested other changes to help "unlock hundreds of millions of value in the near term and billions of value in the long term."

Wattles, founder of the Hollywood Entertainment video-rental chain, wants to oust all of Circuit City's 12-member board and nominate five directors. The owner of the 32-store Ultimate Electronics chain also said that Circuit City should hire an investment bank to evaluate any possibility for a takeover offer.

The proposals, if accepted, would be aired during Circuit City's annual meeting in June.

In the fourth quarter, Circuit City's video sales saw a low-double-digit decrease, with double-digit sales growth in flat-screen televisions unable to offset significant sales decreases in tube and projection televisions. Sales of camcorders and DVD hardware fell by double digits.

Sales of information-technology products fell by high single-digits in the fourth quarter, as sales of notebook computers grew and sales of desktop computers continued to decline.

Circuit City's audio sales fell by double digits in the period, despite an increase in purchases of navigation products. Portable digital audio, home audio and digital satellite radio items saw a significant sales decrease.

Sales of extended warranties fell about 32 percent in the quarter, but revenue from Firedog, the company's PC services and home-installation business, increased 11 percent, Circuit City said. Internet- and call center-originated sales grew 14 percent.

Schoonover said the company plans to focus on improving its selling culture and sales of warranties and installation services as it continues its turnaround efforts, which includes its new smaller concept stores called "The City."

"You have to look at this in terms of a journey," he said. "It's taken longer than expected and it was more difficult than we expected but we have fundamentally changed the way we run the stores."

Banc of America Securities analyst David Strasser wrote in a note to investors that while results were weak, they "could have been worse."

"They still have a lot of work ahead of them," Strasser wrote.
Old 04-09-08, 12:03 PM
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I used to dislike CC back in the Divx days because service was poor and the prices were bad. But over the years the stores (around here) have greatly turned around. The clerks are terrific at helping out if you need it and they're overly willing to pricematch and offer discounts if you left your CC coupon at home.

I'm surprised at how lenient they are with their return policy. (Example: I bought an Onkyo receiver (at a great discount) which went bad after three months. I didn't have a extended service agreement and they still gave me a brand new receiver.)

In addition, they always honor their pricing errors no matter how much the discount is.

Long live, Circuit City!
Old 04-09-08, 12:31 PM
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The nation's second biggest electronics retailer said it earned $4.85 million, or 3 cents per share, in the three months ended Feb. 29 versus a loss of $4.25 million, or 3 cents per share, a year earlier. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial predicted a loss of 7 cents per share and Circuit City forecast a modest loss.
Last week, bigger rival Best Buy Co. Inc. reported earnings of $737 million in earnings for its fourth quarter, a 3 percent drop from the previous year.

Are these numbers comparable (there are so many different numbers in that article I have a hard time knowing which is which, but both of these seem to be 4QTR earnings). Circuit City had earnings of 4.85 million in the same period that Best Buy earned $737?

Even with the 4th Q profit, how did they go from losing 8 million two years ago to losing 320 million last year?
Old 04-09-08, 07:00 PM
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CC made a bad move when they got rid of the bulk of their long-time employees - the ones that actually knew about the products. Now a lot of the employees are morons.

The "customer service" checkout is also a joke. Usually I go up there only to find myself behind some blue-hair that is completely oblivious and can't understand why their newfangled electronic device doesn't work (hint - plug it into the wall, grandpa).

The one place my local CC shines is their installation department for satellite radio. They've been a major help to me over the last few years whenever some new sort of problem crops up.
Old 04-20-08, 03:35 AM
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and i thought it was my circuit city store that was bad and it turns out that's how they all are managed.
Old 04-20-08, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by MovieExchange
The one place my local CC shines is their installation department for satellite radio.
Only if it's not the people who install the GPS systems.
Old 04-24-08, 05:55 PM
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I need to know when these turd punchers are going out of sale...
Old 10-21-08, 11:48 AM
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CC could be on it's last legs:

http://consumerist.com/5061294/is-ci...going-bankrupt
Old 10-22-08, 12:35 AM
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Circuit City is a horrible fucking chain and I'm surprised they've lasted as long as they have. They should have died with Divx.

The stock is spotty. The store layout is terrible. The employees are awful (granted, they don't have much to work with).
Old 10-22-08, 12:55 PM
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My favorite part has always been beach-towel-sized receipts. I could have switched them to normal-sized receipts and kept them in the black on paper/ink savings alone.
Old 10-22-08, 02:40 PM
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They probably saved money with those really old credit card machines they had, where you still had to insert the receipt into the machine and sign it through the window... that's why the receipts were so big.
Old 10-22-08, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
They probably saved money with those really old credit card machines they had, where you still had to insert the receipt into the machine and sign it through the window... that's why the receipts were so big.
LOL. So true.
Old 10-22-08, 03:57 PM
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I have a part-time job as a product rep, so I need to regularly go into Best Buy and Circuit City stores and check inventory, train employees, stuff like that. And I have gone into these stores for various companies, including SanDisk, Adobe, Magellan, APC, Plantronics and others. Point is, I've had to not only go into these stores regularly, but have had to go into several different sections.

I have found the employees at Circuit City to be far less informed than the ones at Best Buy. And they are also far likelier to not ask if you need some help. The Best Buy employees always talk to me, usually without me approaching, and are almost always highly informed about the products, not just mine but the competitors.

Circuit City's Blu-ray prices, even the sales, usually aren't worth mentioning. And when my town finally got a Circuit City recently, I was sent a coupon for 10% off pretty much anything in store. I was told that the coupon wasn't good on video games, even though it expressly said that it was. But the computer couldn't even read the coupon. You know, the one that they sent me! Two workers tried to get it to work, and they finally had to bring a manager to help reduce the price manually. Yes, the manager had to go to his office to get a calculator to do this. Even then, I don't think he reduced all my games, but I was annoyed enough at that point (about 30 minutes later ...) that I was just content getting some type of discount.

Since I make some money from Circuit City, I'd like them to at least stay open a little bit longer, but since it's only part time anyway, I won't be crying if they close down. But at least keep the one in my town open ... we don't even have a Best Buy or Fry's or any of those other types of stores.
Old 10-23-08, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by nemein View Post
I hope not... I hate shopping there, but I prefer they stay around to offer some competition
Agreed.

Best Buy is bad enough but if there is no competition then they will just sink to even lower standards and really not care.

Frankly CC is their own worst enemy. I could list dozens of things wrong with the store, how "seasoned" retailers fail to address them is why the company is almost gone.

Who the hell wants to browse dvd's by flipping through them instead of reading spines? If that is their attempt to get people to browse and remain in the store longer, they lost me a long time ago.
Old 10-23-08, 07:07 AM
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Yes, competition is a good thing, but I would say Walmart and Target are probably bigger competitors for Best Buy at this point. I don't think Best Buy would change that much because CC was out of the picture because I really believe that there is no consumer loyalty with CC. For a while I was price matching Best Buy's ads at CC because it was usually easier to find the sale product. A lot of times it was already gone from BB by the time I got there, and then I would have to wait in a really long line. Plus I always hated buying from BB because the customer service for returns was horrible at my local stores.

Now I live in the middle of nowhere, so the closest Best Buy and Circuit City is about 30 minutes away. I usually buy online from Amazon, unless there is some sort of bonus disc or special packaging, etc.

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