RICHMOND, Virginia — All of Circuit City's stores will close for good by Sunday, powering down what once was the second-largest U.S. consumer electronics retailer, its liquidators said.
"Consumers reacted to the top-quality product that they had, and the prices we were able to sell it at, and we're basically running out of inventory a week early," said Scott Carpenter, vice president for Great American Group LLC, which has been managing Circuit City Stores Inc.'s going-out-of-business sales.
After it failed to find a buyer or secure refinancing under bankruptcy protection, Richmond-based Circuit City announced in January that it would liquidate its remaining 567 U.S. stores and lay off about 34,000 employees.
Great American is among four liquidators — the others are SB Capital Group LLC, Tiger Capital Group LLC and Hudson Capital Partners LLC — that have been working since January to sell off Circuit City's remaining $1.7 billion worth of inventory at reduced prices.
Almost all of it has sold, and nothing will remain when the stores close, Carpenter said.
A small staff will remain at the corporate office after Sunday to finish winding down the company.
Circuit City is guaranteed to receive at least 70 percent of the proceeds from the liquidation sales, but the final figure may exceed that amount, according to an agreement filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
Earlier this week, the company announced that telecommunications company Bell Canada is buying a chain of 750 The Source electronics stores across Canada operated by Circuit City's InterTAN subsidiary. Terms of the sale, which is expected to close in the third quarter, were not disclosed.
Circuit City, which posted losses in seven of its final eight quarters, filed for bankruptcy protection in November as it faced heightened competition, pressure from vendors and waning consumer spending. It reported then that it had $3.4 billion in assets and $2.32 billion in liabilities as of Aug. 31.
Under court protection, it broke 150 leases at locations where it no longer operated stores. Another 155 U.S. Circuit City stores closed in November and December. But the hobbled credit market and consumer worries proved insurmountable.
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