For the first time since March of 2009, you’ll be able to enter a Circuit City store starting this year. Now under new ownership, the Circuit City name is coming back, and while that does mean physical locations will be popping up soon, don’t expect them to be like the old Circuit City you used to know.
Last October, retailer Ronny Shmoel purchased the rights to the Circuit City name from Systemax, the previous owner that had shut down all store locations and converted the brand, for a time, into an online retailer. Shmoel plans to bring Circuit City stores back starting this year, but they won’t be superstores like they were before, or like Best Buy is now. Instead, they’ll have more of an Apple or Microsoft store feel to them — a minimalist, clean presentation that lets customers see everything the store has to offer at a glance, instead of making them go aisle spelunking.
The new Circuit City is going for the trendy look, and it sounds like you’ll be able to find some cutting edge stuff there. While the usual stuff like laptops, speakers, headphones, tablets, and smartphones will be there, the stores will also stock 3D printers, drones, and DIY gear to better reflect the current state of tech shopping and the enthusiasm of the make movement. Might not be a bad idea — budding DIYers tend to want to get hands on with the parts and tools they want to buy before making purchases.
Shmoel and business partner Albert Liniado aren’t stopping with those boutique shops, though. The Circuit City comeback will also involve online retail, franchises, kiosks, and their own branded gear. The long-term plan, according to a Twice report, is to have 50-100 corporate locations and 150-200 franchises nationwide by the end of 2017. They’re starting in Dallas, where a retail location is predicted to open in June.
More widespread will be those smaller express shops and in-store displays, which could find their way into college bookstores and convenience stores nationwide. Circuit City would be selling their expertise in electronics retail to retail locations that might not know much about it, but could certainly benefit from the extra sales. The same report indicates that Circuit City’s new ownership team is looking at 5,000-10,000 of those locations over the next five years.
But, what’s the best news of all? That red and white Circuit City logo is also making a glorious comeback. Just when you thought Best Buy owned third-party electronics retail, an old nemesis looks like it’s going to come back to give them a run for their money.
Photo and story via Twice