Circuit City

by: Robert E. Kennedy

Publication Date: December 4, 2010
Length: 11 pages
Product ID#: 1-429-013

Core Disciplines: Marketing/Sales, Strategy & Management

Partner Collection:

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Teaching Note

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This case tells the story of Circuit City (formerly known as Wards). It describes the company’s rise to prominence as the leading consumer electronics retailer in the United States. It goes on to describe Best Buy’s entry into the industry, Circuit City’s reactions to the competition, and the events that led to Circuit City’s demise.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Examine how Circuit City changed the electronics retailing industry through a distinct strategy in the 1980s and 1990s.
  • Analyze how Circuit City responded to various competitive threats.
  • Describe how changing industry conditions allow for new competitive strategies and why it is so difficult for firm to change.