Friday, January 16, 2009

Circuit City quits 

At one point in this town -- a regional shopping center with representatives of most major chains -- the fellow like me who wants a new TV or computer had several choices of vendors, including three big boxes: Best Buy; Circuit City; and Ultimate Electronics. A few years ago Ultimate liquidated its local store (there are still some in MN), and today Circuit City announced it's following suit.
The company had been seeking a buyer or a deal to refinance its debt, but the hobbled credit market and consumer worries proved insurmountable. Negotiations for an acquisition went past midnight on Thursday, Circuit City lawyer Gregg Galardi said in court.

Two buyers - Mexican billionaire Ricardo Salinas Pliego, who controls a chain of electronics stores in Latin America, and the Golden Gate Capital private equity firm - had been looking to buy the company in a shrunken form, with either 350 stores or as few as 180 stores. But the company couldn't secure the necessary financing or support from vendors.

Some employees were notified Friday that they would lose their jobs and certain stores would begin close-out sales as early as Saturday.