Back in November, North American electronics retailer Circuit City filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced that more than a hundred of its locations would be closed, in an attempt to restructure the company’s debt load and keep the chain going until a buyer could be found.
Well, apparently that didn’t go according to plan; Circuit City announced today that it would seek permission from the bankruptcy court to switch to a straight-up liquidation of its remaining assets. The 500-plus U.S. stores that survived the November cutbacks will be closed, putting more than 30,000 people out of work. (Apparently the CC-branded stores in Canada will stay open; must be operated by a separate company.)
Circuit City joins a growing list of retail chains (Tweeter Etc., CompUSA, Office Depot) that have taken ill or bought the farm altogether in recent years, killed off by a combination of the generally failing economy, their core business moving online, and, in Circuit City’s case, monumental management screw-ups (e.g., sacking most of their actually-knowledgeable sales staff and replacing them with clueless teenage biscuits straight out of central casting). There is supposedly a nonzero chance that it may live on as an online brand, but I don’t know as I’d bet the ranch on that. It is survived by its chief (and now largely uncontested) competitor, Best Buy.