Archive for Circuit City

BREAKING NEWS: Bell Canada To Buy “The Source From Circuit City” Stores In Canada

Posted in Commentary with tags , on March 2, 2009 by itnerd

This Bell Canada press release that is crossing the wires as we speak has me flabbergasted. Bell is purchasing the 750 Circuit City stores that had been operating as “The Source From Circuit City” in Canada:

“The Source is a respected leader in consumer electronics retailing right across Canada. Its acquisition supports Bell’s strategic imperatives to accelerate wireless and leverage momentum in wireline services like Bell TV, Bell Internet and Bell Home Phone,” said George Cope, President and CEO of Bell and BCE.

“With its strong national presence, brand, and management team, acquiring The Source represents a competitive and cost-effective approach to ensuring Bell’s leadership in delivering the best communications products to Canadians,” Mr. Cope said. “Expanding the number of places people can buy Bell products is a core element in the execution of Bell’s strategy to achieve our goal: To be recognized by customers as Canada’s leading communications company.”

Here’s why I’m flabbergasted: Most malls in Canada have both a Bell World store (which had been Bell’s retail channel)  and a “The Source From Circuit City” store in it. So now Bell Canada has two stores owned by them that will directly compete with each other for many of the same customers in the same area of real estate. That doesn’t sound like a winning strategy to me. But then I’m a computer nerd, not an MBA. Oh yeah, then there’s the fact that according to this Globe and Mail story that notes the fact that Rogers has a deal to distribute cell phones through “The Source From Circuit City” that expires at the end of the year. I’m sure some people at Rogers HQ must be pissed as hell not be happy campers.

That likely explains their proposed product mix in the stores they just bought:

In addition to its extensive lineup of consumer electronics products, The Source plans to carry the full array of Bell consumer services at its more than 750 stores across Canada, including Bell Mobility, Solo Mobile and potentially Virgin Mobile wireless products and services, Bell TV’s industry-leading High Definition television services, high-speed Bell Internet, and Bell Home Phone products, by January 2010.

I guess to further avoid screwing themselves over confusion Bell has decided to keep the branding separate:

The Source will continue to operate independently from Bell following its acquisition and will maintain its well-known national brand, broad range of communications, computing and audio products, and its seasoned management team to be led by Ron Cuthbertson, a respected 30-year retail veteran and most recently President of The Source.

Good luck with that is all I have to say. I think this is a really dumb idea that Bell will regret shortly. Still at least the employees of these stores still have jobs…. At least for now they do. Then Bell will rightsize the company after they come to the conclusion that this is a craptastic idea.

Circuit City Lives…. Maybe….

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 11, 2008 by itnerd

The word on the street (actually, it’s Bloomberg) says that Bank of America has given Circuit City a $1.1 billion loan that will help cover its operating expenses until it’s expected to come out of bankruptcy next year. But before you make your shopping lists for Black Friday, consider this:

The chain obtained financing in the midst of a global credit crunch that has forced some companies to put off bankruptcy filings for lack of funding, said CreditSights Inc. analyst Chris Taggert. Circuit City’s loan may not be a sign that that the crunch has eased, given that Bank of America and other lenders were largely repackaging existing credit lines, he said. “This $1.1 billion isn’t $1.1 billion of added liquidity, so the words aren’t as good as the music,” said Taggert.

So, all this does is buy the chain time. Perhaps it will work for them. Perhaps they will die a slow death anyway. We’ll see.

In the meantime, my advice is that if you have a gift card from Circuit City, I’d use it now. You may not get a chance to if you wait too long.

Oh Noes! Circuit City Goes Titsup!

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 10, 2008 by itnerd

Electronics giant Circuit City has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. They do plan to stay in business while they fight to stay alive.  What happened you ask? Simple:

The chain, with 721 stores in the U.S. and 770 in Canada, has said competition hurt sales, especially at older locations in lower-income neighborhoods. Inc. and other Web-based retailers of computers, televisions and music also have lured customers away.

On Nov. 3, the company said it would close a fifth of its U.S. stores and renegotiate leases on some locations to conserve cash. The closings will leave it with about 566 U.S. stores and trim about 20 percent of the 43,000-strong workforce. Circuit City also said today it cut 700 jobs in its regional and district store support department.

The question I have is this. CompUsa went the way of the dinosaurs not too long ago. Now these guys. Given the economic climate, who’s next?

Circuit City Exec Gets Panties In A Knot Over Parody Ad… Then Gets A Clue And Backs Down

Posted in Commentary with tags , on August 5, 2008 by itnerd

Apparently the latest Mad Magazine has a parody of a Circuit City ad called “Sucker City” that made a thin-skinned Circuit City exec at Circuit City hit the roof.  As a result, the order was given to remove and destroy all copies of Mad Magazine sold at Circuit City stores.

Talk about no sense of humor…

In any case, this was all fine and dandy until it hit the Interwebs yesterday. Once it was shown that Circuit City has no sense of humor and they were completely over-reacting to this, did they reconsider their stance (with some amount of humor I might add).

Perhaps next time they want to think about what sort of PR mess their actions would create before they try something like this again.