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Circuit City Returns From the Brink: NY Retail Vet Revives Fading Brand

Image: Circuit City Returns From the Brink: NY Retail Vet Revives Fading Brand
The logo for Circuit City is displayed on the exterior of a Circuit City story in Burbank, California on November 10, 2008. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 29 Jan 2016 08:39 AM

Circuit City is planning its return from the brink, not in its past life big-box form, but as smaller retail outlets accompanied with a robust e-commerce component, its new brand owner told retail publication Twice magazine this week.

Ronny Shmoel, a New York retail veteran, purchased the Circuit City brand, domain, and trademarks in October from information technology supplier Systemax, which had initially bought it in a retail auction, according to Twice.
 
He plans to open what was described by The Dallas Morning News as 50 to 100 2,000-to-4,000-square-foot "electronic boutiques" this year, with the goal of creating a "store-within-a-store concept with select vendors and using the stores strategically for same-day mini fulfillment hubs for online sales," according to Shmoel.

The first such store is slated to open its doors in the Dallas area in June.

Shmoel told The Dallas Morning News that about 40 people are part of the new Circuit City start-up, including former RadioShack employees.

RadioShack, headquartered in neighboring Fort Worth, was purchased by a New York hedge fund in bankruptcy last year, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. That company made news last week when Ron Garriques, its chief executive officer since the hedge fund took over its 1,743 stores, stepped down.

The new Circuit City brand owner told Twice that the new efforts will include not only retail outlets and online sales, but branded and private-label products, licensed kiosks, mobile shops, and franchise opportunities.

The outlets plan to market directly to millennials with pre- and post-paid smartphones, tablets, notebooks, wearables, networking equipment, gaming products, headphones, drones, 3D printers, and health appliances, Twice reported.

The new Circuit City already has endorsements from Intel, Sony, and Canon, among others, the magazine said.

"The vendors were very excited," Shmoel said. "We want to become best partners with them. Brands have become diminished in lieu of price, and consumer education has worsened with the growth of the web."

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Circuit City is planning its return from the brink, not in its past life big-box form, but as smaller retail outlets accompanied with a robust e-commerce component, its new brand owner told retail publication Twice magazine this week.
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