Why Circuit City abandoned its 700 stores

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/10/04/why-circuit-city-abandoned-its.html


Essentially, it lost its death match with Best Buy

And now Best Buy is losing its death match with itself.


Yeah, I don’t think anyone in the business world has learned that lesson yet.


Best Buy was only part of it. It was Rick Sharp, former Circuit City CEO, who said that Circuit City would “never sell products over the internet”. His lack of foresight during the early days of Compuserve and 14k dial up killed the company. Despite that his best move was to create CarMax and keep it separate from Circuit City.

BTW Circuit City lives to see another day: http://www.twice.com/news/retail/circuit-city-set-return-spring/60261

Another part of CC’s demise was their approach to real estate. Which may in part be why so many properties were abandoned. Circuit City’s approach was to find the cheapest strip or block to build on. If you pay attention to where CC stores were located they were always just out of reach or hard to get to in many cases. BestBuy paid more for properties and had better partners. Look at BestBuy store locations. They are front and center and easy to get to and plenty of parking and with decent retail neighbors…Former Circuit City properties sat empty after the closings because they were simply in bad locations.


How is CarMax doing these days?

Looks like… good? Also @Akimbo_NOT the video covered that specific revival at the end.


I loved Circuit City back in the day. Their customer service was excellent and they had a wide selection. I was sorry to see them go though I fully understand the lure of the internet.

Still, where are you supposed to do your comparison shopping? Oh. Yeah. Nevermind.


I miss the red Pirelli race track!



None of them ever seem to work out that to buy stuff you need money, to get money you need to work, thus eventually as they all try to get wages out of the business they will all go bust as the consumers with disposable incomes disappear.
CEOs are still living a business model in which they want to be the ones to kill and salt all the bison so nobody else can have any.


I’m not sure if it’s addressed in the video. If it is, sorry for being redundant.

The first thing I think of when remembering the fall of Circuit City is this:


Ah yes, a media format with the dubious honor of never being cracked, because nobody wanted to because it was crappier than DVD.


Kill and salt?

Why waste the salt? A good CEO wouldn’t waste the salt,

A good CEO kills everything and leaves rotten carcasses for the competition.


I don’t miss it because they always sucked. Overpriced, too.

The one I miss is CompUSA. sigh


Bunkyboar’s first rule of internet headlines: if the headline says it will tell you “why” something happened, it will tell you “that” something happened, and maybe “how” something happened, but it will never tell you “why” something happened.

Probably it’s a corollary to Godwin’s Law.


At least we still have Fry’s! For now!


I find Fry’s to be a bit over-rated. More expensive than I can get elsewhere. Plus they’re not conveniently located to me. There used to be a CompUSA across the street from me, though. Now it’s a pet supply store. :frowning:

Oh god yes I remember this terrible idea

1 Like

“watchable for up to 48 hours from its initial viewing […] consumers could just discard a DIVX disc after the initial viewing period”

Step 1: Select a media format capable of lasting for decades or even centuries.
Step 2: Find a way to convince people to throw it out after two days and pay to replace it.
Step 3: Find someone to blame when you are not profiting.


The Flexplay disc were even more insidious, as they involved a chemical reaction that would make the disc unplayable ~48 hours after opening the case.


As a former Best Buy employee, Good. I’ve worked several retail chains, and the only one where I felt I was not offering a product or service at a reasonable price was Best Buy/Geek Squad.

I couldn’t sell a $30 USB cord with a straight face.


Well, you could… on commission.