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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Circuit City’s five stages of death.

Arriving daily? Not for long. That was one sign I saw at a local Circuit City this weekend. Figured why not go out and try and see what kind of deals were to be had off the bones of another soon to be big box carcass. 10% off? Here we come. Not sure what I expected to find, maybe overturned displays, empty shelves save for a lone In the Army Now DVD?

While it wasn’t quite that bad, death by liquidation is still imminent. All we can do is apply Kübler-Rossian logic to get us through this terrible time.

1) Denial. This can’t be happening. Where will I get my vacuum cleaner, Ludacris CD or digital camera in one place? Where else will I be able to find someone from another department working a department they know nothing about?

2) Anger. Know how many hours of my life I spent going back and forth between Best Buy and Circuit City in an attempt to save $10? A game I played way too often. Four hours back and forth to save $10, which was then offset by the cost of gas to get there.

3) Bargaining. None to be had. See, here’s where they and all the chains like this get you: While you think you’re all badass, coming in with that smug look and your price comparison printed out at home, assuming they just have to match it, well, look closer: “Yes sir, that one is $50 cheaper. But that’s the XRG-199347733DM-a. The one on sale is the XRG-199547733DM-a.” BASTARDS!

4) Depression. I’m going to miss the talking TV spots.

5) Acceptance. Walmart will eventually be the only place to shop. We’re hooked on buying stuff we don’t need—especially if we think we can get a bargain on it, and who provides better bargains than them? It’s too bad people will be losing their jobs, but it’s the circle of shopping life: The Whiz > Circuit City > Best Buy > Walmart. Sure the other chains might have the high-end Sony, but dude, that’s a 37” LCD HDTV from LG for $400!!!!! Acceptance now turning to logic as you start to rationalize yourself into a purchase. “Ya know, that pic ain’t bad. Sure it’s no Sony—but, it costs half.”

Wonder if I can get it cheaper online.


Bob Knorpp, @thebeancast said...

I forget if I told you this, Bill, but I took my iPhone and used the Amazon Shopper app to compare CC GOOB pricing with Amazon everyday prices. In every case (checked electronics, games, computers and DVDS) the price was cheaper on Amazon, was tax-free and offered a free shipping option.

All I can say is, no wonder CC is going under. I can't see how any retailer can compete with this, outside of the immediacy factor.

Anonymous said...

A friend bought three TVs from CC last month. Said to me that he needed service people to install them, mount them on walls, get them working on cable TV, and was willing to play the extra cost to get it done as he was a complete lummox at installing anything. He was very happy with the service. Circuit City, he said, told him that if the product was advertised for less than he paid them, they would refund the difference.
Problem is the guy's worth about 40 million liquid and unless there is runaway inflation, the market for selling electronics to multimillionaires is limited.

HighJive said...


We don't want to hear about your personal problems, Mr. Multimillionaire.

Anonymous said...

ha----i was talking about an investment banker i know who was lucky enough to get out alive.....
good thing about him is that he is still so cheap he compared prices and service from about four
ce stores......and picks up pennies on the sidewalk and goes two extra blocks to save 45 cents a shirt on laundry....
the kind of guy who should be running citibank

Anonymous said...

@Bob - That day in Best Buy, I saw this older couple with pencil and paper trying to write down all the prices, while a yonger guy just walked up and down snapping prices on his cell.

These kids today.

@Tom @HighJive - Multi-millionaires reading this blog? Honored, but, they should be fishing, taking it easy, anything but hanging with blogging commoners.