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Check Out Line: Circuit City in troubleville

November 3, 2008

Check Out Circuit City’s mounting troubles.

Citing severe liquidity issues and tighter credit conditions from its vendors, the electronics retailer said it would close 155 stores by election day. Store closing sales begin on Nov. 5, the company said. Circuit City, the No. 2 electronics retailer, also said it would exit 12 markets in the United States as part of its plan.

Circuit City has about 1,500 stores in the United States and Canada.

The announcement follows a prolonged earnings and sales slump for Circuit City, which had said earlier that it would consider all options including shutting some stores to reverse its fortunes. Last week, the company received a notice from the New York Stock Exchange that it does not comply with the exchange’s stock-price standard. Its shares were trading at less than 50 cents on Monday.

The store closures could present an opportunity to rival Best Buy, whose President and Chief Operating Officer Brian Dunn said last week that it would look to grab some stores closed by distressed competitors.

To be sure, however, Dunn had said “if Circuit City did go out, I would not be jumping up and down.”

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