Circuit City considers shutting some stores

The troubled consumer electronics retail chain has outlined a plan to avoid bankruptcy, according to reports.

Erica Ogg
Erica Ogg Former Staff writer, CNET News
Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.

In order to avoid filing for bankruptcy, Circuit City is weighing its options.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the troubled electronics retailer is considering a plan to close some stores and cut thousands of jobs. The Journal cites "people familiar with the matter" who say Circuit City has also hired a bankruptcy firm, as well as a consulting firm and an investment bank to negotiate emergency financing.

Instead of filing for bankruptcy, one outlined plan calls for closing 150 stores, which would free up $350 million from inventory that could be used to pay off some of the company's debt.

The retailer said that for the record it is considering several options, but won't be discussing its plans publicly.

Circuit City is the U.S.' second largest electronics retailer behind Best Buy, and has 714 stores in the U.S., and 772 in Canada.

Things have gone from bad to worse for the retailer after posting huge losses earlier this year, followed by a buyout bid from Blockbuster, which failed, and Chief Executive Philip Schoonover's departure in September.

News that the company is considering filing for bankruptcy protection comes just before the all-important late-year holiday sales rush, which is unfortunate timing. Besides a dismal economy, and having to compete with Best Buy and Wal-Mart Stores on Black Friday prices, the company also must now deal with declining consumer confidence in a chain that may not make it to next year.