In a desperate bid to keep a struggling electronics chain alive, a Circuit City location, which opened in the Bronx a little over two months ago, will be shutting its doors soon.
In a decision announced on Monday, November 3, the corporate offices of Circuit City, in a move designed to stave off bankruptcy in a very shaky economy, made the decision to close 155 stores and lay off many employees, as well as reduce future store openings and aggressively renegotiate leases.
One of the shuttered stores will be the Bronx’s only Circuit City location at 1750 E. Gun Hill Road and part of the popular electronic chain store’s new “The City,” design, which puts a more urban spin on all of the products and services the chain offers.
Ironically, the store opened amid much fanfare, filling a much-needed void as the anchor retailer in a shopping center that has needed one for years.
“I am very disappointed this has happened with the Circuit City store,” said Vinny Prezioso, Community Board 11 vice-chairman. “We worked so hard to get a good anchor store in that location, and it didn’t pan out.”
Prezioso said that based on conversations he had with those close to the operation, the move appears to be motivated by real financial hardship on a company that has grown popular all over the country in the past decade for its deals on electronics.
“I understand that we are in a very bad economic environment,” Prezioso said. “Since this is a business decision, there isn’t very much we can do.”
A grand opening celebration at the store had been held on Thursday, August 15, and included former New York Knicks superstar John Starks and members of the Knicks City Dancers in a lavish ribbon cutting ceremony for the 20,000 square foot space.
At the time of the opening, store manager Michael Coppola boosted about the hard work of all the employees who did an excellent job of building the store from scratch.
“When we came in here, we had a bare building with just fixtures,” Coppola said the day of the opening, in praise of his staff. “Every one of our young partners has worked tirelessly to build it up into what it is today.”
Now it appears, due to the sagging economy, a little over than two months into their assignments, the mostly young staff will be without work after a closing sale which began on Wednesday, November 5, and will continue until the inventory is exhausted.