CES: Retailers go into hiding

Were buyers shying away from the Consumer Electronics Show this year or did they just keep a really low profile?

Given the state of retailers — what with consumer electronics sellers like Circuit City filing for bankruptcy protection — it wouldn’t be surprising if they kept away. After all, who’s in the mood for bulk buys of fancy new gadgets when consumers are so tightfisted with their dollars?

There was no International Retail Power Panel, which has featured the CEOs of Best Buy and Circuit City in the past. And the one retail panel advertised on the CES website earlier — International Success Stories from Retail — was also cancelled today, without explanation.

Guess it’s hard to celebrate success in a recession.

Blockbuster + Circuit City = 3?

blockbuster-ceo-jim-keyes.jpgEyeing the disintegration of its brick and mortar rental business, Blockbuster offered to buy electronics retailer Circuit City for $6 a share, the rental giant revealed on Monday.

But will one plus one equal three? Putting together two struggling companies have rarely been a good idea.

The bid shouldn’t be a surprise, however. For months, Blockbuster CEO James Keyes has aimed to invest more heavily in its stores by adding more merchandise including entertainment electronics while pulling back on competing with online rental service Netflix.