Circuit City to rise from the ashes to the web?

Chicago (IL) – Despite its rather dramatic departure earlier this year, Circuit City may not be entirely gone. An eagle-eyed TG Daily reader told us that there is a new message on the website, stating that the site is only “temporarily” closed – and we now wonder whether Circuit City will follow the path of Comp USA.

This new message has us scratching our heads. “ is also temporarily closed, although we anticipate the website will reopen in the coming weeks. Please check back for updates.”

The conclusive interpretation of “reopen”, of course, would mean that will return as a web-only destination. Our reader mentioned that a previous store manager said that the brand could re-emerge as an online store. As of now, there is no indication, besides the official message, that this will actually happen. To our knowledge, Circuit City Stores, Inc. has been liquidated under the supervision of Great American Group, which managed the final sales activity as part of a joint venture group. The URL was, as of this morning, still owned by Circuit City Stores, Inc.

Calls we made to the company’s office in Richmond, Virginia, remained unanswered.

It may make sense for the old Circuit City Stores, Inc. or a new owner to leverage the brand name of Circuit City for an online shop. This would allow the brand to take a similar direction as CompUSA, which began closing hundreds of stores across the nation in early 2007 and eventually was sold off in parts in early 2008. The company’s Internet sales unit ended up with Systemax, which currently runs as an online shop.

The closing of Circuit City’s stores developed in a matter of a few months as well. After Blockbuster had considered and dropped merger talks with Circuit City in April 2008, the management of Circuit City mentioned in late October that it may have to shut stores to avoid bankruptcy. Two weeks later, the company announced it would close 155 stores – and filed for Chapter 11 one week later. In mid-January the company decided to close all 566 stores and liquidate its assets. The last stores were close on March 8 of this year.