Circuit Eyes Store-Within-Store Plan

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Taking a page from RadioShack's merchandising book, Circuit City is rolling out a collection of what amounts to store-within-a-store displays promoting its role as a shopping center for new digital home entertainment and information products and services.

Circuit City said it plans to start adding the new areas to its Superstores this spring and have them in all its outlets by late summer. The new display areas include:

  • AOL Internet Centers, developed in an alliance with AOL, will feature an array of interactive products and services, and show how AOL can be accessed anywhere through various technologies and hardware.
  • Memory Stick Interactive Universe, backed by Sony, and featuring Sony's line of cameras, camcorders, printers, portable music players, and PCs that utilize Memory Sticks for storage, as well as the sticks themselves.
  • Digital Audio in an expansion of Audio Departments to spotlight the latest advances in MP3 and other digital audio recording technologies.

Circuit City will also be overhauling its Video Departments to give more prominence to the displays of DVD, DirecTv and digital set-top devices, as well as an expanded area for digital TVs to accommodate the growing number of available models and brands. Additionally, its wireless phone displays will be redesigned to make it easier for consumers to compare features and services.

Citing the chain's history of being a leader in introducing new technologies to consumers, president Alan McCollough said the display enhancements, along with Circuit's trained sales staff, "put us in great shape to take maximum advantage of the ongoing revolution in digital products."

Separately, Circuit City said its January sales were a record $1.09 billion, up 15 percent from last year, with same-store sales up 9 percent. PC sales, bolstered by an instant rebate program tied to CompuServe signups, produced "particularly strong" increase in the home office category. Also up markedly for the month were sales of DVD players, digital camcorders and DirecTv systems.


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