Circuit City Logo History

alt      Circuit City Stores, Inc. was an American dealer and retailer in brand-name consumer electronics, personal computers, and entertainment software. In 1949, Samuel S. Wurtzel opened the first Wards Company retail store in Richmond, Virginia, at 705 West Broad Street.

By 1959, Wards Company operated four television and home appliance stores in Richmond. The company continued to grow and acquired stores in other locations including Albany, New York; Mobile, Alabama; Washington, DC; and Costa Mesa, California. During the 1970s and early 1980s it also sold mail-order under the name Dixie Hifi, advertising in the hifi magazines of the day. In Richmond, Wards experimented with several retail formats including smaller mall outlets branded "Sight-n-Sound," "Circuit City," and lastly "Ward's Loading Dock," its first big-box format. The large-format store clicked with consumers, as did the Circuit City name. They were combined into the retail format of the "Circuit City Superstore," which then went national.Wards Company officially changed its name to Circuit City and became listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1984. One of the company's early slogans was "Circuit City — Where the Streets are Paved with Bargains."

On November 3, 2008, Circuit City announced that it would close 155 stores and lay off 17% of its workforce by the end of the year as a result of continuing difficulties in remaining profitable.On January 10, 2009, it was announced by a company spokesman that Circuit City needed a buyer by January 16, 2009 to keep from shutting its doors due to an approaching deadline set by the court and creditors. Two unnamed parties had expressed interest in purchasing the company. However, no bidders could be found, and Circuit City was forced to liquidate its assets and begin going-out-of-business sales. According to Circuit City's website, the company announced on January 16, 2009 that it intended to close all of its stores. Reportedly, over 30,000 employees lost jobs in the liquidation.

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