Saturday, February 28, 2009

Circuit City

Eight days left is what the sign on the outside of the building says. My television in the bedroom gave up the ghost the other day. While watching a DVD the picture disappeared as the voices continued from the speakers and suddenly smoke starting drifting up from the back of the set. I'm not in desperate need of a new tv, I still have the main one in the living room. It's just that I like watching my dvds of tv series on the bedroom set. So I've been pricing sets lately. I almost forgot about Circuit City. There is no store in Slidell, but one about thirty minutes away in Covington. I wasn't sure how much longer they had before the final day, so I wasn't sure what they would even still have in stock, but decided to go give them a look.

When I entered the store I realized that I wasn't going to be finding my new tv there. The walls were empty. A few display tvs sat on counters, but I wasn't going to buy a display from a store that I couldn't return it to.

I was surprised that they still have about a hundred cds and dvds left. Both were being sold at 60% off. I managed to find about eight cds and two dvd sets. The second season of Brotherhood, the Showtime show that most critics compare to The Sporanos was on sale for twelve dollars, which was a steal. I would have been glad to pay the original price of thirty dollars for it, I throughly enjoyed the first season. I also picked up the first season of Mad Men, which I haven't seen yet but keep reading how good it is. I was not about to pick it up for the original price, since it's pretty expensive for around a dozen episodes, but at their reduced price it was around sixteen dollars.

I manged to pick up some cds that I've come close to buying before, but always pass over. More from cost than anything else. Cds from Lee Ann Womack, Sam Philips, Tegan and Sara, BoDeans, Elvis Costello, Feist, Foxboro Hot Tubs, Neil Diamond and Tristan Prettyman. A pretty good haul if I do say so myself.

Back in the day I used to buy the majority of my music from Circuit City. When I lived on the Westbank, probably close to twenty years ago, there was a Circuit City across from the Mall. Their prices were good and they had a large selection of music. That was one of the things I liked about them. I could find a lot of stuff that you wouldn't think you would be able to pick up from a big box retailer.

And I bought my first computer from them. And a lot of other stuff. But than I stopped shopping there. I moved but there was always a Circuit City not that far from me. But they changed. And not for the better as far as I was concerned.

Their music selection shrank drastically. It became mostly whatever was coming out and a little of the big names back list. If I wanted something that everyone else wasn't looking for it became impossible to find there. And their prices went up. I'd say their prices for an average cd was at least a dollar more than Best Buy. Not a lot you might say, but when you buy a lot of music it adds up.

And trying to buy eletronics or computers from them became so difficult. No one seemed to know anything about the product, if you could find someone to wait on you in the first place. In what had to be one of the stupidest moves in retail history they let go of their more experienced associates and hired new people for as little as they could. There was no way they were going to attract anyone with any real knowledge for the wages they were willing to pay.

I'm sure that the economy had a lot to do with their eventual demise, but they've been going out of buisness for years before the economy took a nose dive. It's just finally caught up with them. I hate to see any business close but I can't say I was suprised by it.

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