updated 03:35 pm EST, Thu January 22, 2009
The Source Stores for Sale
The collapse of Circuit City in the US may not only cast doubt on the future of its Canadian retail chain The Source but could shift many stores towards Best Buy. Circuit City's Canadian subsidiary InterTAN says all 765 The Source stores are being put up for auction this week and that buyers could pick up some or all of the stores for their own purposes. Proposals from buyers are due as early as Friday and could result in a decision shortly afterwards.
InterTAN hasn't supplied a list of candidates, though the unofficial list is likely to include Best Buy as well as Canadian electronics and furniture chain The Brick. Although the former already owns a significant number of large electronics stores under its own name as well as the Future Shop brand, analysts suggest it could buy at least some of the small-sized stores to open more Best Buy Mobile stores, which first opened in Canada only late last year and focus only on cellphones.
The Brick, in turn, has said it might buy out troubled companies in the current economic climate. All of its shops are currently large-format stores, however, and would require either a new brand to handle The Source stores or a change in strategy. [via CrunchGear]