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Circuit City To Launch Online Training Tool

Richmond, Va. — Circuit City will launch an interactive, online training center next month that will directly connect sales associates with the chain’s vendors.

Pulse LLC, which is hosting the platform for Circuit City, describes the virtual training center as a “unified community and social network unlike any of its kind in the retail industry.”

The project is part of Circuit City’s effort to improve its in-store sales support and enhance the customer shopping experience.

“Today’s environment is marked by collaboration and Web 2.0 applications,” noted John Harlow, Circuit City’s executive VP and chief operating officer. “As we rebuild our selling culture, the Pulse platform will enable us to partner with our manufacturers, employees and leadership team, creating an environment that will ultimately lead to an unparalleled customer experience and improved selling productivity.”

Under the plan, manufacturers will have unprecedented access to communicate their current and future products directly with the sales force responsible for getting those products in the hands of consumers, explained Pulse CEO Karl Shaw. In turn, Circuit City associates will have the ability to interact with manufacturers’ programming and create and post their own content in a “You Tube”-style environment that can be seen by the entire organization. “We truly believe the end result will be greater employee and customer satisfaction,” he said.

Unlike current retail training models that are characterized by a large number of manufacturer Web sites vying for employee traffic, Pulse’s “retail social commerce” system, dubbed CityPulse, will direct sales associates to a single community for learning and collaborative activities, allowing for interaction and increased efficiency, the supplier said.

CityPulse is scheduled to go live mid-August.