Retail veterans Ronny Shmoel and Albert Liniado aim to bring big-box electronics retailer Circuit City back from the dead, with plans for Dallas stores, and beyond, according to Twice and the Dallas Morning News. The first store, in Dallas, could open as early as June, with 50 to 100 planned this year, plus a new e-commerce site.
Morning News retailer reporter Maria Halkias noted the similarities between the Circuit City plans and those of recently reborn RadioShack: smaller stores, with highly trained employees, and carefully curated merchandise, including some store-branded items.
Circuit City filed for bankruptcy in 2008, a victim of underpaying sales associates, the credit crunch, and intense competition from now-struggling Best Buy.
Circuit City— Shmoel acquired the name and its web domain from IT supplier Systemax, which bought them in a bankruptcy auction but didn’t follow through on any retail effort—will retain its familiar white and red logo, but little else from its ill-fated past, according to these reports.
The new Circuit City, famous for its cavernous big-box approach, will feature smaller, urban stores with a careful mix of merchandise and, notably, according to Twice, well compensated employees.
The planned 50 to 100 stores nationwide will be in more densely populated urban areas and much smaller than Circuit City’s old approach at 2,000 to 4,000 square feet. Products will be zoned in the store according to category and brand and will include millennial-friendly items including smartphones, tablets, notebooks, wearables, networking equipment, gaming equipment, headphones, drones, 3D printers, health appliances, and DIY devices—plus electric price tags that make the retailer’s million-SKU online selection available to shoppers, according to Twice.
Of course rival Best Buy is still around, but Circuit City's new management apparently thinks it can conquer the struggling electronics market. Shmoel told the magazine that he’s studied the mistakes and success of other chains, presumably including Best Buy and that he aims to take advantage of Circuit City’s enduring brand identity.
“The vendors were very excited,” he told Twice. “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. People are so excited to see what we’re going to do.”