Circuit City's liquidators sold $450 million of the chain's $1.8 billion in inventory in the first two weeks of clearance sales, and expect to conclude the liquidation weeks ahead of schedule due to “record shopper turnout.”
According to Great American Group, one of four liquidation firms hired by Circuit City, sales have exceeded expectations and may only continue for another four or five weeks, well in advance of a federal bankruptcy court's mandated cutoff of March 31.
“We are very pleased with the reception that these clearance sales [have] received,” said Scott Carpenter, executive VP and operations director for Great American Group.
Circuit City's nine national distribution centers are being “emptied out” to accommodate demand for the discounted electronics, he said, and traffic increased as shoppers hunted for bargains on 50-inch and larger TVs for the Super Bowl.
Great American CEO Andy Gumaer said the liquidation is only expected to continue for another four or five weeks due to brisk sales, rather than the two months originally anticipated.
Despite the unexpected demand, the discounters have instituted deeper discounts on select goods, effective now. The latest clearance sales include 25 percent off original prices on all plasma TVs, 20 percent off select LCD models, 40 percent off car audio products, and “substantial discounts” on all other store merchandise, including computers, cameras, camcorders, video games, MP3 players, DVDs and CDs, Great American said.
The liquidation had been criticized by consumers who claimed that prices found on some products actually increased since the sale, and were higher than those at other CE chains.
The other three liquidators are Hudson Capital Partners, SB Capital Group and Tiger Capital Group, which also conducted going-out-of-business sales for Tweeter.