Circuit City has died.

Crisis
March 9, 2009

 

Last Will and Testament of Circuit CityFor Circuit City, it passed for good news: On Friday, a press release trumpeted the “record shopper turnout” at the failed retailer’s going-out-of-business sale and said that the liquidation proceedings were ahead of schedule. All U.S. stores are therefore closing forever as of tomorrow. And so I made what will almost certainly be my last visit ever to my local Circuit City today, six days after I found it had been reduced to selling used cleaning supplies.  Back on Monday, it still stocked some factory-fresh consumer electronics products, too–albeit at discounts too low to send anyone into a shopping frenzy. Today, with 24 hours to go, very little worth buying at any price was still available… After the jump, a final set of fuzzy iPhone photos from the scene of the sale. I wonder how long it’ll take the landlord to fill the space, and what will replace Circuit City there–and in the 566 other storefronts that the chain’s failure leaves without a tenant?   As I wended my way towards the store, I noticed that the huge STORE CLOSING banner was gone. I don’t think this is a clue they’re having second thoughts. And it probably doesn’t mean they sold it to anyone, although that would be kind of cool. I suspect that the store is simply so near its end that they’d already started to remove the going-out-of-business signage. Either that, or it was torn asunder during the blustery weather we’ve been having here lately. ldcc-outside For the first time since my first visit to this store’s liquidation, it was packed with consumers–more than I’d seen in any Circuit City in a long time. And they were buying stuff, too. I was shocked to see a queue at the checkout. Circuit City Last 2 Days Around seventy percent of the store was now cordoned off. I don’t know what the “SERVICE DEFECTIVE” on that tape means, but it’s sort of fitting: Circuit City died, in part, because its service was too often defective. Circuit City Closed In normal times, you expect the signage attached to PCs in a store to brag about the features they contain. At a nearly-moribund Circuit City, it lists what’s not inside. Kind of like “no radio” signs tacked to car windows. Circuit City PCs All the remaining laptops I saw were apparently floor models, missing fripperies like…oh, like all their keys, for instance. Despite signs saying that everything in the store was at least fifty percent off, computers were still marked down by only forty percent–Circuity City still hoped that someone would plunk down $539.98 for this one. (Tip: You can buy a pretty good brand-new laptop for less than that these days–one with a full set of keys, even.) Circuit City Laptops The store had planted folks brandishing signs promoting the sale around the neighborhood, and their placards stated that all TVs were 50 percent off. As far as I could tell, “all TV” consisted of oneTV. As the description taped to its front explains, it has a red line down the middle of the screen. Bsut hey, it’s still a 1080p HD set with an impressive 10,000:1 contrast ratio. Circuit City TV The ample supply of blue iPod cases I’d seen last Mondaay were still there, still looking hopeful that someone would buy them. Sadly, it wouldn’t be these two ladies, who sauntered off after I snapped this photo. Circuit City iPod Cases Also still on hand: vast quantities of armbands for various Sandisk Sansa MP3 players. For thirty cents apiece. You gotta think they could knock them down to a penny apiece, and still have trouble getting rid of them. Circuit City Sansa Cases The same Canon gadget that mystified me on my last visit was also still lurking about (upon further reflection, I think it’s a little photo printer). It’s really just not that much more tempting at $60 than it was at $90. When Circuit City closes for the last time tomorrow night, I wouldn’t be shocked if this were the last unsold item in the place. Circuit City Canon Most of the CDs I’d seen on my last visit were gone, but I did run into Mary J. Blige. Repeatedly. Circuit City Mary J. Blige Circuit City Mary J. Blige I’m not sure what was once on this rack, but I do know that it didn’t come with a battery, a power cord, or AV cables. Or with a guy named Manuel. Circuit City No I really hope this three-pack of padlocks was marked down by more than 33 percent (and I’m not sure what’s going on with the $199.99 pricetags). Circuit City Locks I wondered if Circuit City’s back room contained decades of unsold merchandise that would suddenly reappear–laserdisc players, StarTac phones, and Zip Drives. Nope. This Barbie CD-ROM’s extremely poor condition lead me to wonder if was a vintage collectible, but it’s really only a couple of years old. Circuit City Barbie How’s this for pathos: You could buy this “Today’s ‘to dos’” sign with notes reminding staffers of Circuit City’s price-matching policy, nagging them not to be slobs, and warning of the sin of being late for “Go Gets” (whatever those are). “Getter done” indeed! Circuit City Sign Also for sale: practically everything they used to run the store, including pallet jacks, a pallet rack, lockers, a baler, break-room equipment, a sage, a microwave, and peg hooks. With 24 hours left to go, they apparently didn’t need any of this stuff anymore. Circuit City Signs In fact, you could buy a toilet-paper dispensing thingie, which brought to mind scary visions of what shape the store’s bathrooms might be in. Circuit City Toilet Paper Also no longer needed: those trademark red Circuit City employee shirts. Circuit City Shirts These tubs frightened me enough that I didn’t turn them around to see if they had labels explaining what was inside. Circuit City Tubs Sniff. Circuit City Paint Say, you really shouldn’t leave electric drills laying around–someone could poke their eye out with that thing. Circuit City Drill On the bright side, these old-fashioned credit card imprint gadgets are kind of cool. Circuity City Credit Card Machines If you’re staring your own mortality in the face, you might as well have a sense of humor about it. (Note the beard and mustache on the happy Verizon customer.) ldcc-calls

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