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How I’ll miss Circuit City for all the wrong reasons

By DOM Team| 5 Min Read | November 14, 2008

No second life for Circuit City?

“It’s like a jungle, sometimes it makes me wonder how I keep from going under.” Grandmaster Flash – “The Message”

Oh Circuit City – we’ll surely miss you. Well, we might not miss your insistence on trying to sell hdtvs by splitting the signal 423 ways and displaying SD content on them, or demoing surround sound systems by bunching all the speakers together at different heights and directions. But, those are just minor things ignoring the unique selling points of your big box items. It’s nothing that other major electronics retailers don’t do; albeit, never as cack-handedly as you guys.

Personally, I’ll particularly miss the staff. A trip to Circuit City felt like the entire store had been taken over by the local high school on work experience. This led to the place having a certain quirky charm. It never felt quite as Machiavellian as your average Best Buy.

Very few trips to Circuit City have passed without incident, caused mainly by the loyal band of merry boys and girls that fluff their day away pretending to be sales reps.

I’ve been flirted with in Steubenville in an overtly gay manner by an audio/visual sales guy who was particularly fond of my accent and tried to make sure I was alright in every single department I walked through.

Then there was a time I was looking at center speakers for a surround sound set up and was ushered over to listen to a Polk they had set up over in a corner. It would’ve been more than impolite to simply walk away as the chap had to rewire a receiver in order to get everything plugged in right before astonishing me with its sonic prowess. What a shame my demonstration was hijacked by another sales rep who slipped in his ‘client’s’ home movie DVD that he’d just taken from the back of his boat that afternoon of his son water-skiing just so he could sell him some connector cables.

You really have no idea how well the wind buffeting a camcorder’s microphone highlights the low-end harrumph of a Polk Audio CS245i. And the less said about the father the better.

So, it was with these fond memories that I was magnetically drawn to Circuit City again last night along with hoards of others as signs wafting in the wind pronounced 30% off the entire store. I’m as big a fool as anybody, perhaps more so considering the number of blog posts doing the rounds indicating that Circuit City were currently marking down from MSRPs and things were more than on their Website or what they were previously in store.

And I have to say they’re right. WORST. SALE. EVER.

But that wasn’t enough to stop me stumping up for a wireless-n router, which I knew I could get for $5-15 cheaper online even at 20% off in-store. Even as I was looking, the store hand was busily adjusting prices. I was most confused by there being two of the routers I was looking at going for $103.99 with the identical router proudly being sold for $108.15 on the shelf below it. After adjustments he brought it down to $105.45. Priceless.

If only I had the bare-faced cheek to ask for a price match.

Plenty has been made of why Circuit City is going to the wall, but the fact that they simply couldn’t fathom the basics that you, I, or a trained rhesus monkey would’ve made sure were adhered to is neither here nor there. Just go for a mosey round Google News if you want the latest lowdown and fallout.

But their folly wasn’t just isolated to their offline presence; they were a tad shabby online, too. Well, it was either shabbiness or a nice little PPC jape.

The other night while I was researching TVs online for my father-in-law I came across another example of Circuit City quirkiness. I’m of the opinion if you can’t find something online for at least 20% cheaper then you’re not worth squat. For example, today I should be receiving a 100ft Ethernet cable and three 10ft hdmi cables for the princely sum of $28.99 – just try getting that lot from your usual suspects for less than $150.00.

Anyway, while I was looking around for TVs, and a particular model of Samsung, I noticed a PPC ad with the rather poor title of “750 for sale” – it was remotely related to the search I suppose. All things considered, and with the vain hope of them having done something sale-like during their sale I clicked on it.

Oh how I tittered as the landing page it took me was for a surge protector.

In their last throes, Circuit City couldn’t help but try to up-sell.

Seriously, how much writing is there on their boardroom walls and how long have they been doodling?

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