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Traffic Stats Foretold Circuit City Bankruptcy

In an after-the-fact breakdown, anyway

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Let’s acknowledge right now that there is a certain chestnut concerning hindsight and 20/20 vision.  That said, an analysis of traffic data is starting to make it look like Circuit City’s bankruptcy was, if not inevitable, at least not a completely random event.

Circuit City had proven to be quite a bit less popular with shoppers this holiday season than most.  Hitwise’s Heather Dougherty notes, "For the week of Thanksgiving, which is typically a peak traffic week, the market share of visits to CircuitCity.com had dropped 33% from the previous year within the Appliances & Electronics category."

Circuit City
 (Credit: Hitwise)

Perhaps worse still (in terms of speed), going from Thanksgiving to Black Friday to Cyber Monday, Circuit City managed to slip from being the fifth most visited site among the Retail 500 to seventh and then ninth.  Eep.

Then there’s the matter of what sort of customers were abandoning Circuit City.  Dougherty writes, "The biggest loss was affluent shoppers with an income over $150k where a share of 4% of total traffic represented by the group was lost and replaced by visitors with lower household incomes."

For the sake of the economy and however many employees, hopefully we won’t see these patterns getting repeated anywhere else in the near future.

Traffic Stats Foretold Circuit City Bankruptcy
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  • http://randomplaza.com Brave Agent Pubeit

    I thought it might have something to with their business model where it was lots of sales reps paid on pure commission instead of the walmart model.

    Hmm… maybe you can find out about Mervyn’s.

  • Guest

    i never did like the extended warrenty that circuit city offers on their products. some of their products that they offer in their store is over priced. they dont do a price match if their is a better offer in another store. when you have bad options like these then there is going to be a breakdown!!

    • james

      I have to laugh at this comment..

      Whats there not to like about CCs warranty??? They’re wonderful. They had warrantys that would cover literally anything but theft. you could run over your product and still get it replaced..

      And then you say they had over priced items?? Even if that were true CC beat any competition by 10%. CC have always beat their competitions prices.

      Have you even been into a circuit city?!

      • http://randomplaza.net Brave Agent Pubeit

        I’ve seen a lot of complains OTI about best buy’s warranty program but none about circuit city. It could have been because best buy was more popular, though.

  • Guest

    Frankly, 9th place isn’t bad. Thay had to be losing money long before this bankruptcy. Reorganization could have fixed the problem, if it weren’t something more serious.

    • http://www.roomfurniturechina.com wholesale bedroom furniture

      Well, I’ve only recently started to try and market my website as this is a completely new venture for me. I’m not sure I still really understand the meaning of twitter to be honest, but from the feedback I have read on it so far it seems to be a substantial means to improve your web traffic if used correctly. I’m going to give it a shot anyway and shall let you know how I get on!

  • http://affordablehomeandgardenstore.com/ Zeeshan Rahim

    The word about cc going bankrupt got out way before thanksgiving and those who would’ve preferred CC probably didn’t wondering if the company would be there to support the warranty in the future.

  • http://www.adtastichosting.net Adtastichosting

    Personally, I’ve had poor service or non-service every time I have went into circuit city to the point the last time was my last time. I tend to buy at least one new computer every year in my business. I shop around on the net for about a month or so before making my purchase.
    Then I go out and go to circuit city, best buy and all the other places I can find here locally which have computers for sale and make comparisons before making my final decision. The last three times I went to circuit city over the last couple of years, the service was absolutely horrible. Last time they had a computer on sale which was pretty nice and fit my requirements, but the demo had no keyboard or mouse setup. The salesperson said well, I don’t know where the keyboard or mouse is and this is the last one, so if you want the computer you’ll have to buy it without one ( was about $1800) and purchase those separately. I’m like, “You’re kidding right??”" I guess not. I mean I would have purchased a keyboard and mouse but lets try and show some actual service. Preferable response would have been “We’ll throw in a keyboard and mouse”, or “It doesn’t come with either can I show you a few nice ones?” or something to that effect not “It doesn’t come with either” and then just walk off as if I don’t matter anymore…
    Well, no sale and that was just part of my bad non-service experience with them that day so I swore off ever going there again since it had been a pattern over the last few visits. If it had of just been one incident with one salesperson I could see it I am pretty easy to get along with but this had been a pattern.

  • Guest

    I recently learned of Circuit City’s demise and I must say that
    there was very little grieving on my part. Having been a loyal
    customer for years, I was quite surprised several years ago when
    a VCR purchased from a Marietta, Georgia, store (and sealed with
    official CC tape!) was found to contain an old eight track player
    and a clay brick to make it weigh more. I pointed this out to the
    store manager, the regional manager, and tried to get to CEO but
    an “administrative assistant” (who insisted on calling herself an
    Assistant Administrator…) refused to connect me. I did not receive
    either merchandise or a refund and never shopped there again.
    Perhaps other shoppers had similar experiences?

  • http://www.diamondonnet.com/ Diamonds

    They’re way overpriced, I’m not surprised to see them go.

  • http://www.ethnobotanicals.com/ Kratom

    A 34-month chart comparing the traffic of CC and BB does not show a startling drop off for CC. BB has always had more traffic, but last summer, CC actually garnered more visitors than BB.

    http://www.quantcast.com/circuitcity.com#traffic

  • Guest

    I predicted the CC would go out of business three full years ago. The reason is that they push extended warranties VERY hard, and lie to their customers telling them that if anything goes wrong with their PC, or digital camera, or printer, or TV, that it will be replaced with a new one. But I worked as tech support for the warranty company and it was a total lie that was COMPANY WIDE. I got chewed out and threatened with lawsuit on a daily bases.

    The end of CC is one of the best things that has happened in this down turn. But was going to happen eventually anyway. When people were cheated by them, they lost large quanaties of repeat business so they were relying on stream of new customers to stay afloat. So it is expected that they would be the first to go under with little repeat business.

  • David

    Circuit City is like alot of CE businesses I have delt with, They had great employees and bad employees. I never had a problem with them, doing price-matches, swapping-out a deffective product for a new one. The Saginaw, MI. store employees, always treated me right, and were helpful. It is sad to see yet another business go under. I loved their online web page, it always allowed me the opportunity to see their sunday ad, and do price comparing with them and Best Buy, Staples, and Office Max. I liked the look and feel of their online ad, and the opportunity to leave buyer feedback.

    The Saginaw, MI. store is scheduled to close for good 2/15/09.

    The store is pretty picked over, and I only bought a few CD’s the last 2 weekends I was in. Alot of communities are going to suffer because of this, as loss of sales tax,and employees loss of incomes.

    But what really ticks me off are all the people selling coupons on Ebay!!!. Come On People, this is just plain Fraud!.

    Circuit City is in Liquidation, and is Not honoring any Coupons!.

    I kind of wonder about one of Circuit City’s past CEO’s, He previously worked at Best Buy. I wonder if he has Best Buy Stock?.

    I am really going to miss the competition that we had before.

    I guess I will have to shop more for computer stuff online in the future.

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