UPDATED: Breaking: Circuit City Closing 155 Stores

According to anonymous insider tips, Circuit City is closing 155 stores and withdrawing from 12 markets. This will be officially announced tomorrow at 8am, says our source. A scan we received of a letter distributed to CC employees helps corroborate the story. The tipsters say that store employees were told this morning. No information was provided at that time about severance pay. Employees in certain departments, like car installation, and Firedog, will likely be out of a job within 48 hours. Warranties will still be honored. UPDATE 6: Here’s the complete official list of closing stores.

A Consumerist commenter on this post says this story is true, and a few posts in Google Finance forums also attest to the store closing. One post there says the store closings will be effective 12/31/08.

The news wouldn’t be entirely unexpected as WSJ reported on Oct 20th that the retailer was considering closing 150 stores. On Friday, Oct 31, CC was warned it get delisted from the New York Stock Exchange because its stock price averaged below $1 for 30 days.

You can already start to see which stores are closing by seeing which ones don’t show up in Circuit City’s online store locator.

Circuit City is officially fried.

UPDATE: A Consumerist commenter on this post and a message in the Google Finance forums have also said that the store closing are going to happen.

UPDATE 2: Another Circuit City insider writes: “A team of liquidators will be coming in and taking control of the store. They will set prices as they see fit, and price match guarantee, employee discounts, CC circulars, and the new one price guarantee are all out the window. The price you see is the price you will pay, although it ought to be at a bit of a discount. Firedog services as well as car audio installation are gone immediately. Returns and warranties have to be taken to a CC that’s not closing. No new stock will be delivered, we just gotta crank away and sell off everything, and when it’s sold, we hit the road.”

UPDATE 3: A CC employee scanned and sent us this letter he received from CC about the store closings:

UPDATE 4: In classy fashion, Chicago CC employees were told the news at what was billed as a “holiday kickoff” meeting that instead became a “holiday layoff” meeting.

UPDATE 5: Another CC insider reports, “Liquidators will be coming in on Tuesday and the affected stores will be shut down. there is likely not going to be a severance package for us being affected by the layoffs but we were given the option to get a bonus based on how many hours we worked under the liquidation process. We are not allowed to transfer to other locations and have to wait out the liquidation process before we can reapply. So essentially, we will have to take a paycut, a position cut, and more than likely an hours cut if we want to still work for the company.

More importantly I tried to find out what was going to happen to all the warranty computers. Customers will be getting a call from their local firedog techs tomorrow (Monday) about either to pick up their computers and take them to a different location to do warranty work, or for those who have already had their computers sent out for repair be told where they can pick it up. As far as I’ve been told everything that is out at our repair depots has already been set in motion and will not be shipping back to the stores that are closing. During the liquidation process we will no longer be accepting gift cards, coupons, checks, or circuit city credit cards.

I would tell people to call up their store tomorrow and see where their laptop is being shipped to because obviously that could be a very big hassle for people.”

(Photo: heartburn)