Circuit City: The Lost Years

This clip is a sort of medley of all of Circuit City’s dashed dreams and hopes, as told through their ads from nearly two decades ago. Look at the first one, the ad that announced their arrival to the New England area. What do the eager young bucks in it promise and how have those promises stood the test of time?

Great selection” – Maybe what you’re looking for is on the shelves, maybe it’s not.

Friendly advice” – Try gum-popping and monotone.

We’ll beat any price from any other store, any membership club, anybody.” – We beat ANYONE, except for retailers who are online or farther than 10 miles away.

We all have one goal: pleasing you” – We all have one goal: spiffs.

Service is state of the art” – No, but the cigarette sculpture people are help building in the alley out back is pretty amazing.

More reasons why Circuit City is dead.


Edit Your Comment

  1. lalaland13 says:

    I’m not sure if I’ve ever actually been inside a Circuit City. I tend to just see buildings that once housed CC but are now empty.

    But honestly, that probably says more about where I’ve lived than CC. But based on purely anecdotal evidence, I’m not surprised they’re faring so poorly.

  2. kewlfocus says:

    Whatever happened to “The Kid”?

    • Snarkysnake says:


      1994 – Won the Bedford (N.H) city soccer championship in goal with a 1-0 shutout of Concord.

      1996-Pitched middle school baseball team to city championship with a 1 hitter in regional finals.

      1998-Joined Bedford N.H. high school band , selected 3rd chair in trombone section.

      1999- Promoted to second chair. First date. Begins driving lessons,with goal of obtaining license as senior.

      2001- Graduated, 123rd in class Bedford High Class of ’01.Obtains drivers license. Leveraged band relationships to obtain job as Domino’s delivery driver. First traffic accident. First moving violation.

      2002 -Accepted , Syracuse University. Enrolls for fall semester,withdraws November 2002. Accepts former position at Domino’s. Second moving violation. First (and second) DUI. License suspended. Leaves to “pursue other opportunities”…

      January 2004 – Rehab complete. Applies,accepted for employment at Circuit City in Chevy Chase ,Maryland. “Fiances” pregnancy forces second job at Wanker’s TacoTown.

      September 2006- Promotion to Assistant Manager , Chevy Chase ,Maryland Circuit City. Receives first raise. “Fiance” bears 3rd child.

      March 2007-In the ultimate irony,dismissed (along with other sales staff across country) by Circuit City. Arrested for suspicion of 3rd DUI.

      Glad I could help…

    • DH405 says:

      @kewlfocus: He used that money to buy his first hit of acid. He’s now in San Francisco, squatting in a house near Haight & Ashbury.

    • harvey_birdman_attorney_at_law says:

      @kewlfocus: AIDS.

    • sprocket79 says:

      @kewlfocus: I remember “The Kid.” His name is Austin O’Brien. He was in that movie “Last Action Hero.”


  3. midwestkel says:

    WTF? They had to wear full suits back in the 90’s? Holly Hell that is krazy!

    • midwestkel says:

      @midwestkel: The sales people I mean…

    • Justifan says:


      they had commissions i think. so they had a reason to be douchy. the game was out in the open and everyone played it fine. now upper management at electronics chains realize they can force their employees to be douchy and give them zero commission, keeping all the earnings for themselves. quite a trick.

      • reknight says:

        @Justifan: Sad to say I worked at both Circuit City and Best Buy in the mid 90’s. You are correct CC was commission sales. I worked in the computer dept and actually sold that 486SX Packard Bell in the ad, sold ALOT of them actually… CC HATED to sell those… they were negative margin… my managers hated when I sold them too, for the same reason, but I really didn’t care since more often then not, they were just fine for a family that was starting out with computers.

        As for the suits, they weren’t actually suits, just blazers you had to wear with the dress shirt and tie. They sucked, but at the time they were expected. Sales people had gray blazers and managers had red blazers.

  4. dohspc says:

    The cc over here is always dead and empty. Every time I go in there i come out with nothing and a feeling of disappointment. The BBuy is always hopping lol.

  5. theblackdog says:

    Wow, I actually remember the “The Kid” commercial.

    I have to admit that CC did actually have a car dock for my radio in stock when Best Buy didn’t, so I will give them credit there.

  6. Kuonji says:

    I remember every single one of those commercials. Mostly being played while I was watching my fresh new episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation

  7. downwithmonstercable says:

    I’m sad to see CC go down in flames. Last time I bought something substantial there was probably 10 years ago, and I was totally satisfied with the experience. They installed a whole car audio package, and even gave me the sale price that I had missed by a couple weeks.

    Thsoe were the days. sniff.

    • HogwartsAlum says:


      I’m sad about it too. The CC here is better than the Best Barf. I got my car stereo there and they did such a great job installing it that when someone broke into my car recently, they were unable to get it out. HA! :)

  8. Gopher bond says:

    My CC is terrible, selection is terrible and the prices are so much more than what I can find online that I haven’t once thought I couldn’t just wait a few days for it to be delivered.

  9. Sndtrkman says:

    The last thing I bought from CC was my iPod Touch back in January of this year…I kind of had to go there since I got a gift card from a co-worker for that place…It was so sad to walk in, see all of this crap lying around the store and nothing organized. What was even more sad was that I had to wait over 20 minutes before the Reps got done conversing with one another to even bother to help me out…Good riddance to that crap hole.

  10. iMike says:

    Needs “bad consumer” tag.

    Beyond that, agree that Circuit City is a known purveyor of suckage.

  11. darkryd says:

    I love the guy’s Boston/Southie accent.

    “We’ll beet any oth-uh proice at any oth-uh sto-uh.”

  12. SGriswold says:

    I found myself mouthing along to the entire “The Kid” commercial. I am now upset, because I feel dated (1990? Seriously??).

  13. BethDemonice says:

    Living in Richmond, i remember all of these commercials growing up. Also, the CC thats about 2 miles from my house (and practically across the street from their corporate headquarters) USED to look just like that one in the commercial. It was a big plug into the ground, and you went in through the plug.

    • Wubbytoes says:

      @BethDemonice: There are a lot of abandoned old “giant plug” Circuit City buildings out here in the Oklahoma City area. One of them is a Goodwill now, and it has actually been open longer than the original Circuit City was.

  14. krom says:

    I’m guessing Jon Chaffee’s career ended up something like his (likely) relative Lincoln Chaffee’s has gone.

  15. malvones says:

    I got my 486 MHZ AST at a Circuit City. That thing was covered in a steel case to withstand an F6 tornado, and I upgraded up to a Pentium before shelving it a few years later. I’m tearing up over here.

    • FLEB says:

      @malvones: They certainly don’t make ’em like they used to, do they? I rescued an old 486 from a dumpster a couple years ago. The thing weighed a ton and was steady as a rock. I actually used it to hold up my bed frame for a year or so, when a leg broke.

  16. strife1012 says:

    Consumerist, I have worked for CCity for 4 years in all departments. I will give you some of my “tell all” as a eulogy of CCity.

  17. albear says:

    Awesome! I remember when CC salespeople wore nice suits like the ad. And I remember the kid ad too! I’ve looking for it a long time. CC was great back then, I live close to the Van Nuys CA, CC and it’s ghetto as hell. It’s the K mart of Best Buy! ;)

    My first experience with CC was the brand new store on Sunset BLVD in 1985. Goodtimes! *yes, I’m old* :P

    Anyone remember the Silo stores?

    • reknight says:

      @albear: Yah, I remember Silo… I was too young to actually buy anything there before the store near me closed, but I remember going with my Uncle as a kid. The building is still there, but a shoe carnival now.

  18. Corporate-Shill says:

    Loose CC and what in hades will keep BB in check?

    No opinion?

    No, the internet is not an option as too many things really are best purchased in person.

    No opinion on how to keep BB in check?

    Yea, that is what I thought.

    We need CC just to keep BB from totally farking the world.

  19. mbz32190 says:

    Best Buy isn’t in a good situation right now either given the economy…their stock has fallen significantly as people cut back on frivolous purchases.

    • endless says:


      i think if you look at the year as a whole their stock has fallen closer to the fall of the general market. CC has fallen considerably more than the market as a percent.

      dow for the year is at 56% of where its peak was
      best buy is at 41%
      circuit city is worth 2% of their peak

      im not especially good at math… but those are the numbers i got.

  20. Ben_Q2 says:

    I was in Brea, Ca. I was learning to program. Not wanting to trash my then 20meg hard drive. I used to take a 3.5 disk with me put it in and format their computers. Ya I was a ass but.

  21. Unchained says:

    The CC by me isn’t bad. They had what I wanted when Best Buy didn’t, and had the same wall mount for about $40 bucks less.

  22. zibby says:

    I was in a CC a few years ago when they had an exclusive Care Bears DVD that my 4 y.o. wanted. Now she’s ashamed to admit she ever liked that Care Bears and I’m ashamed to admit I ever went into a Circuit City.

    Hell, at least Best Buy had a Rolling Stones exclusive DVD.

  23. gggtur says:

    Well, looks like they had the right idea…They just didn’t stick to the plan!! Why can’t Circuit City be more like, Circuit City?

  24. christoj879 says:

    Interesting, the first time I watched this my computer crashed. Let’s see if it happens again.

  25. joel. says:

    I remember “The Exchange” from Christmas time when I was a kid. I guess I watched WAY too much TV as a child — I’m only 24

  26. therealhomerjay says:

    I bought a number of items–large and small–from CC around 10-15 years ago, and never had a problem. Once I moved, the store in my new location hasn’t seemed to compare nearly as favorably, from the service or selection side.

    My belief is there are always good people even in a company that loses its way, and for them, these kinds of things are very sad, especially in a sinking economy. To those folks, good luck and Godspeed.

  27. Nate128 says:

    CC just isn’t relevant anymore. With a reputation for poor customer service and high prices, it’s easy to see why. And they’re oh-so-predictable. Today, for example, I had a gift card there and I ordered something online with in-store pick up. They advertise that if it’s not ready for you at the store within 24 minutes after placing the order, you’ll get a 24-dollar gift card. I told my wife as we left, “I bet you I’ll get a 24 dollar gift card. There’s no way they’ll have it ready.”

    Sure enough, we get to the store about a half-hour later and it’s not at the counter. They can’t find it. After the salespeople got done “looking for it” (aka standing around talking), I got my refund over an hour later along with my 24-dollar gift card. Yay! The manager didn’t even apologize to me that they didn’t have it even though they were supposed to (and they checked their computers at the store and they said that they had it in stock). Awesome, CC. Thanks for the experience.

  28. gruffydd says:

    They just opened a brand new CC in Brea, CA this year…I think. They are remodeling the shopping center behind Brea Mall, (including a Target with underground parking) and the old CC was replaced with a new one.

  29. TVarmy says:

    That song was… something. Maybe they’d still be around if they brought it back.