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Circuit City Tests Concept Store

25 Oct, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Circuit City Stores Inc. has begun testing concept stores aimed at enticing consumers with interactive displays, kiosks and a more hands-on retail experience.

The No. 2 electronics retailer is keen to circumvent the fiscal challenges that beset Tower Records and Video, Musicland and most recently Movie Gallery.

Named ‘The City,' Circuit City reportedly opened the first test store in Norfolk, Va., last summer with plans to open a second in its corporate hometown of Richmond next month. A company spokesperson said previous guidance for store openings was on hold following the appointment of a new CFO.

Company officials had said they planned to include the concept stores in about 50% of the 150 new stores planned for the current 2008 fiscal year and fiscal 2009, which begins next March.

Circuit City lost more than $117 million in Q1 and Q2 of fiscal 2008, compared to profit of more than $16 million during the same periods last year, due to declining music CD, sluggish DVD sales and lower-than-expected margins on HDTVs for the shortfalls.

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