On Friday, Circuit City, the nation's second-largest electronics retailer, announced that it would close all of its 500+ U.S. stores. This effectively leads to 34,000 people being laid off and opens the way for Best Buy, the largest retailer, to increase their prices as their competition has decreased. This market became even more oligopolistic (few sellers) and will also be even tougher for the already sluggish economy. Yesterday, I ventured to a Circuit City in Union Square and also in Midtown to find extremely long lines and huge crowds. The liquidators in charge of the chain plan to close each store either when their merchandise runs out or by the end of March, whichever arrives first. My bet is, according to my experience yesterday, most stores in urban areas will close in less than 2 weeks.
In a later post, I'll talk about my experience at Best Buy later that day and how their customer service may already be taking a hit.