Systemax Circuit City site
Systemax on Friday announced it has finished its acquisition of online electronics retailer Circuit City following its bankruptcy and launched a revised Circuit City website. Systemax has also aquired CompUSA last year and oversees online retailer TigerDirect. The new Circuit City site has 24/7 customer service, advanced search functions and photo and video galleries of the products it carries.
Systemax May Get C City
PC builder and retailer Systemax may revive the Circuit City name through a deal, a court filing shows (PDF). Already the owner of TigerDirect and recently CompUSA stores, the company is in the running for bids on Circuit City's name before May 11th and would pay as much as $6.5 million to acquire both the brand name itself and the rights to run the Circuit City website. It's not known which other companies are in the running or how likely they are to win a bid.
Following its bankruptcy and sale to Systemax, CompUSA has quietly been reopening new stores with a very different policy on Internet access. In a talk with Wired, Systemax's Technology Products chief Gilbert Fiorentino has confirmed both that there are now 30 new CompUSA stores but that the new shops have a largely open Internet policy that puts every computer in the store on an Internet connection. Shoppers are reportedly encouraged to use demo units to check prices and reviews, and are unrestricted from ordinary tasks like checking Facebook.
Circuit City closes stores
Electronics chain store Circuit City announced on Thursday it will permanently shut down all 567 of its stores across the country as of Sunday, March 8th, earlier than previously announced due to the record-high shopper turnouts for going-out-of-business sales. Some locations have already closed due to sold-out stock, as shoppers cleaned out store shelves since the sales began on January 17th in an attempt to liquidate $1.7 billion in inventory.
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.
Circuit City Liquidates
Circuit City today revealed that it has decided to liquidate all its assets and effectively shut down the company. The retailer says the move comes after it was unable to strike a deal with its creditors and other moneylenders to fund the company's business following its move for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November, which gave it an opportunity to reorganize its business. It also warns that there is unlikely to be enough money left from selling its stores and other resources to pay equity holders.
Circuit City in Sale Talks
Circuit City on Friday morning made public that it's currently in talks with an unnamed company to potentially sell off its assets following its bankruptcy. The retailer declines to provide any more details than required by a hearing pushing the details into the open but confirms that two "highly motivated" companies are discussing the possibility of deals that would either give the company enough money to continue on and restructure itself or else to effectively buy out the resources of the entire store chain.
Office Depot Closes Stores
Retailer Office Depot today said it will close 126 of its North American stores in a bid to remain healthy. The company plans to make 112 closures of these within the next three months and the remainder throughout the rest of 2009 as their leases come to a close. New store openings will also be cut in half to 20 next year. The move, which drops about 10.8 percent of the company's total stores, will have a total cost of between $270 million to $300 million for Office Depot but should save about $75 million in day-to-day expenses throughout 2009 while also boosting earnings from $70 million to $90 million.
NextWorth iPod trade in
NextWorth has expanded its iPod and iPhone trade-in program to include Amazon.com and Circuit City. Customers can trade their devices at select Circuit City retail locations, receiving a store gift card for the trade-in value as determined by a store employee. Alternatively, devices can be shipped to NextWorth for inspection and valuation. The company claims that e-gift cards will be sent to customers within 24 hours of the inspection.
Circuit City Bankruptcy
Circuit City on Monday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a last-stage bid to remain in business. The move follows an already drastic step to shutter 155 stores and requires the retailer to reorganize the company and its finances to more readily pay back debts to its creditors, which include Samsung, Sony and other companies whose products are sold through the chain.
Circuit City Closes 155
Circuit City today confirmed a drastic step to save its retail business and says it will shutter 155 of its stores across the US as well as renegotiate its store licenses and curb its launches for new stores. The move leaves 566 stores and is said to target those locations that were unprofitable, particularly after marketing was involved. The shutdown takes effect quickly and will see closeout sales as early as November 5th.
HP 17-inch notebook unveil
A Circuit City webstore listing is showing a new HP notebook, the 17-inch Compaq Presario CQ70. The previously unannounced notebook PC is part of HPís expansive CQ70 range, and uses Intelís Pentium dual core processor rated at 2GHz along with 3GB of DDR2 memory. Graphics for the 1440x900 resolution display come via the integrated Intel GMA 4500MHD graphics processor.
BBuster Withdraws C City
Video retailer Blockbuster tonight said it has withdrawn its offer to buy Circuit City. The company provides few details as to the reason for its sudden exit but says that a combination of "market conditions" and the process of due diligence, or examining the health of Circuit City as a business, have led it to believe that a takeover of the electronics chain is not in its best interests. Blockbuster still argues that the idea of unifying media and electronics under one name but that it will have to do so through its own stores rather than Circuit City's locations.
Icahn and Yahoo Deal
Activist investor Carl Icahn may use his clout to instigate a proxy battle that pushes Yahoo towards accepting a Microsoft takeover, CNBC says. Those talking to Icahn allegedly say he will push for the nomination of three or four candidates to Yahoo's board of directors that would favor a Microsoft buyout, giving just enough influence on the ten-person board to have it vote in favor of the acquisition that it has resisted in the past. Dissatisfaction with Yahoo's rejection of Microsoft offers could make this simple, the sources explain.
CCity Evading BBuster
Circuit City today sent mixed responses to Blockbuster's proposed takeover of the company. The suffering electronics retailer now says it will let both Blockbuster and its backing investor Carl Icahn conduct due diligence, effectively letting the movie rental house explore Circuit City's finances to judge whether the buyout would be practical. Circuit City warns, however, that the agreement isn't a sign that it has finished investigating Blockbuster's bid and that the company believes it can succeed without help from an outside buyer.
Circuit City questions bid
Last week saw video and game rental chain Blockbuster make a public $1 billion bid for electronics retailer Circuit City. At that time, Blockbuster accused Circuit City of not providing information the suitor requested to make a definitive proposal. Yesterday, investor group Wattles Capital Management, representing Blockbuster, sent a letter outlining the reasons for such disclosure to Blockbuster's board members. Circuit City's same-day response questioned Blockbuster's ability to finance such a deal in light of the rough economy.
Blockbuster Bids Circ City
Blockbuster today made a surprise, unsolicited bid for Circuit City. The offer would provide $6 per share and equate to $1 billion, or approximately 54 percent more than Circuit City's current value. The offer is meant to seize on the increasing unity between media and technology and would create a "game-changing retail concept," according to Blockbuster chief Jim Keyes. Circuit City has not yet formally responded to the offer but is said not to have offered the "due diligence" necessary to provide a full assessment of Circuit City's worth; doing so could boost the offer to $8 per share, or more than $1.3 billion.
Electronics spending crash
American spending on electronics is about to take a sharp slide, suggests a study by ChangeWave Research. In a survey of over 4,400 Americans conducted between February 18th and the 25th, a full 33 percent said they would be spending less on electronics in the next 90 days, versus only 19 percent who said they would spend more. Although "spending less" responses tend to dominate in most months of the year except for the run-up to Christmas, the gap is now the largest it has been since 2002, a factor which may both reflect and harm an already damaged US economy.
Future Shop HD DVD Trade
Canadians who bought an HD DVD player now have a trade-in option for the obsolete format, Future Shop claims. A new deal from the retailer is offering any owner of an HD DVD player a $100 discount on the purchase of a hybrid player that can play both their existing titles as well as the surviving Blu-ray standard. This chiefly includes either the LG BH200 or its fellow Korean rival the Samsung BD-UP5000, the store notes. No distinction is made between the value of different HD DVD players.