Since the creation of our publication, we've not written about Circuit City. Trust me, I went back and searched, and the only time we do is in an article about Best Buy. For some of you, you may not even know what a Circuit City is. This is because the electronics big-box store went out of business in March 2009, after failing to remain competitive against Best Buy's aggressive marketing strategies. The company's physical assets were liquidated, all stores were closed and the branding, domain and all trademarks were then sold to Systemax, an IT supplier that also owns all of Tiger Direct's assets. In October, Systemax sold the Circuit City package to Shmoel, which recently changed its name to Circuit City Corp. And now the company is looking to relaunch the brand.
Ronny Shmoel and Albert Liniado may not be commonly recognizable names, but the duo have extensive successful history in the online retail world. The two hope that their positive experiences will lead Circuit City to the same green pastures as their previous endeavors. Shmoel says that he will achieve this with an extensive blueprint that includes both web sales and retail stores. In those outlets, there will not only be popular branded products, but also a Circuit City-branded alternative. The head of the newly-named Circuit City Corp also said there will be kiosks in the future, along with opportunities for franchising and other investment avenues.
Liniado, a former business development VP of two decades, said that, "We (Circuit City Corp) want to bring profitability back into retail." He added that this can be achieved through building margin into off-branded product and by keeping its retail footprint as small and efficient as possible. Best Buy just started learning that last tidbit of information over the past 3 to 4 years. Liniado said new Circuit City stores will be between 2,000 and 4,000 square feet, with product zones that resemble the RadioShack stores that were remodeled right before that brand underwent its own sale.
The new Circuit City locations will be aimed at millennials and college students, and will feature everything you'd expect inside a Best Buy Mobile mixed with a small version of Fry's. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, headphones, gaming accessories, wearables and even drones and 3D printers. The stores will come complete with electronic tags for pricing and will seamlessly integrate with circuitcity.com's one million SKU inventory.
Shmoel's end goal, while ambitious, can be done if it's focused right. The retail exec says he expects around 100 retail corporate stores to be opened by next year, with another 200 franchise locations. The website will be relaunched and ready for business in June.