By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Retailers and service providers are stepping up efforts to claim their share of Circuit City's revenue and customer base as the CE specialty chain dissolves.
hhgregg was among the first to make a play for Circuit's sales by offering to honor its gift cards after the first wave of store closings were announced last fall. The multiregional CE and appliance chain has now extended the gift card offer a third time, to April 1 — one day after Circuit City's final liquidation date.
As before, the gift card value will be honored toward up to 20 percent of the total hhgregg product purchase price, and is not applicable to online purchases.
Also accepting Circuit City gift cards are member dealers of Brand Source, the $11 billion buying group, CEO Bob Lawrence told TWICE.
hhgregg is also hoping to recruit Circuit customers by providing factory-authorized service on manufacturer-warranted products that were originally purchased from Circuit City. Consumers can now bring their defective merchandise — and proof of purchase — directly to an hhgregg store for service, or can arrange an in-home appointment by calling the company's toll-free customer service center.
Also stepping up is Zip Express Installation, which provides next-day home-installation services through a nationwide network of certified technicians. The Minneapolis-based business announced last month a special 15 percent-off Super Bowl promotion aimed squarely at former customers of Circuit City's Firedog home services operation. The discount, good toward a variety of Zip services, can be redeemed by using the coupon code FIREDOG at the company's Web site, www.zipinstallation.com.
“Circuit City's bankruptcy and subsequent liquidation means that the company's Firedog service will cease to fulfill existing appointments, and thousands of consumers will be searching for solutions only days before the biggest football game and television event of the year,” said Chris Mauzy, Zip Express president/CEO. “Zip is ready to fill this void in the marketplace … [and] customers stranded by Firedog can have all of their consumer electronics installation needs met tomorrow.”
Zip Express provides installation services direct to consumers and through several retail partners including Amazon.com, Nebraska Furniture Mart,
Another service provider that may find new opportunities post-Circuit City is PlumChoice, which had provided all of Firedog's remote PC support services until it ended its relationship with the retailer in December. While PlumChoice continues to serve as a discreet, behind-the-scenes IT support engine for retailers, manufacturers, phone carriers, cable companies, ISPs and warranty service providers, it also offers its around-the-clock services direct to consumers at www.plumchoice.com.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.