Dead but insufficiently buried

Save the date: the 15th of February marks the return of Circuit City.
That’s what they say, anyway:

Following a tease of a CES announcement, current company CEO Ronny Shmoel confirmed on Monday that something called Circuit City will arrive as “a new, more personalized online shopping experience” starting February 15. The announcement event, which was reported by tech-business outlet Twice, included promises of AI-driven recommendations fueled by IBM’s Watson platform, plus unexplained “augmented reality” and “search by photo” features.

Curiously, Shmoel also promised “real-time tech support via video chat,” but it’s unclear whether this feature will include two-way video feeds—and, thus, whether Circuit City is prepared for a deluge of Chatroulette-caliber video surprises from trolls.

Wait a minute. Didn’t we hear this same story two years ago? Why, yes, we did. From the late, lamented Consumerist:

Back in 2009, the medium-box consumer electronics chain Circuit City closed. Systemax, the owner of TigerDirect, acquired the brand’s website and customer list, and kept it going until 2012. Late last year, Systemax decided to shut down its technology business, and that included selling the twice-defunct Circuit City brand. Now yet another company has acquired the brand and wants to make a go of it as physical retail stores.

Call me when someone opens an actual Montgomery Ward store.

(Via Fark.)


  1. fillyjonk »

    13 January 2018 · 7:42 am

    Zombie brands. I’ve been fooled more than once (Tensor lamps, for example) by brands that were good back in the day, disappeared, then seemingly reappeared, when the only thing that still existed from the good brand was the name.

  2. McGehee »

    13 January 2018 · 9:19 am

    TV ads touting sunglasses bearing the Bell + Howell brand name seemed legit to me, until I looked up the brand.

    The online reviews of these brand-licensed third-party products suggest there may not be anyone at the helm of the real Bell + Howell who knows anything about how the erosion of brand’s reputation can hurt the company.

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