Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Circuit City in troubleville

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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.”

Check Out Line: Sales up at Burger King, profit misses view

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Check Out Burger King missing Wall Street views but saying sales grew 12 percent worldwide, with sales at restaurants open at least a year up 3 percent in the United States and Canada.

Lower-cost fast-food chains have benefited in the economic downturn, while higher-priced sit-down restaurant chains like Applebee’s and Chili’s Grill & Bar have been hit particularly hard, as consumers slash discretionary spending to adjust to falling home prices, a credit crunch and higher food and fuel costs.

Check Out Line: Teens spending less, but super-rich still shopping

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Check Out the sinking economy creeping into the lives of some of the most resilient shoppers — teenagers, whose need for fashion and fun often trandscends economic downturns.

shopper.jpgRising prices are forcing teens to cut back spending as their parents face mounting gas and food costs, declining home values and a credit crunch, according to a WSL Strategic Retail survey. 

Do you multi-channel?

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best-buy.jpgShoppers hunting for consumer electronics are the most likely to visit both brick-and-mortar stores and the Internet while deciding which product to buy, according to a new study.

The IBM Global Business Services study of consumers in both the United States and United Kingdom found that multi-channel shoppers, or people who regularly participate in more than one method of shopping, are usually looking for apparel, accessories, footwear, home improvement items and appliances, in addition to electronics.

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