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[URL=http://money.cnn.com/2008/11/10/news/companies/circuit_city/index.htm]Circuit City files for bankruptcy[/URL]

[QUOTE]NNMoney.com. "We remain committed to doing a better job of taking care of our guests, and making it easier to shop at Circuit City."

For anyone that's on the hunt for a sweet deal on a flatscreen TV, Circuit City spokesman Jim Babb said it's "safe to assume" that consumers can expect deep discounts on TVs and other products in those Circuit City stores that are being liquidated.

In the rest of its stores, Babb said the company's prices will remain competitive with the market over the coming weeks.

Circuit City said it is seeking approval from the bankruptcy court to honor customer programs such as returns, exchanges and gift cards. "Approval of such programs normally is granted," the company said in the e-mail.

The electronics seller said it will still accept credit cards, including Circuit City-branded credit cards, which the company said are not impacted by its bankruptcy.

Circuit City also said it will continue to honor its warranty plans, including its Circuit City Advantage Protection Plans.

Despite these measures, one industry watcher remained unconvinced that Circuit City could still attract shoppers from here on and especially through the holiday season.

"Consumers will be skeptical about buying a $1,000 or $2,000 flatscreen TV with a warranty at Circuit City," said Craig Johnson, retail analyst and president of Customer Growth Partners. "In their mind, there's no guarantee that the company will still be around in the future."

"Regarding gift cards, if you are buying a $50 gift card for Christmas, where would your comfort level be higher? At a Circuit City or a Best Buy (BBY, Fortune 500)?" Johnson said.

The company's bankruptcy filing was also made at a crucial time of the year for merchants who are preparing for the year-end holiday shopping season.

The November-December period can account for 50% or more of retailers' annual profits and sales. But this year, many Americans have clamped down on their shopping habits amid a weak economy and a shaky job and credit market.

Industry analysts warn that retailers will have to do whatever they can this year if they hope to have at least decent holiday sales. [/QUOTE]


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