Ailing Circuit City Posts Loss, Plans New Campaign

Circuit CityJust a week after replacing its CEO, struggling electronics chain Circuit City posted a $73 million loss for the second quarter. Sales fell 10% to $2.39 billion, with comparable-store sales tumbling 14.4%.

And to shore up its turnaround efforts heading into the critical holiday selling period, the company says it will focus on five simple initiatives, including a new marketing brand campaign.

"While we have continued to gain traction in key areas, such as improving the close rate trend, rebuilding our selling culture and delivering a better customer experience in our stores, the progress we have made to date has not been sufficient to reverse our overall business results," company executives say in its release, adding that "the performance of the company is unacceptable to all of our stakeholders, and it is imperative that we take the right steps to accelerate our turnaround."



The company also withdrew its previous forecast of 2009 results.

In addition to its new campaign, which it says will be supported by "relevant traffic-driving offerings," the Richmond, Va.-based retailer also says it intends to focus on enhancing customers' shopping experience, improve its in-stock position on key items and advertised products, upgrade its signage and visual merchandising, and finalize the rollout of its "Simple to Shop" program in home entertainment.

Like other retailers, Circuit City has been battered by slowed consumer spending, and says that while it did see a "low single digit" increase in the sale of its flat-panel TVs, sales suffered practically everywhere else, with notebook and desktop computers, video products, video software and music software all registering double-digit declines.

Last week, the company said Philip J. Schoonover, chairman, president and CEO, agreed to step down, and will get $1.8 million in severance. The board named James A. Marcum acting president and CEO.

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