Case | HBS Case Collection | June 2012 (Revised November 2012)

The Rise of Circuit City Stores, Inc.

by John R. Wells and Galen Danskin


In fiscal 2000, Circuit City was at the top of its game. The world's leading consumer electronics retailer had delivered record sales and profits for the first year of the new millennium. It was a fitting moment for Richard Sharpe, the CEO of the last 14 years, to step down. Over his tenure, revenues had increased 18 times and operating profits 13 times. In June 2000, Alan McCollough succeeded him as CEO. A 12-year veteran of Circuit City, McCollough expressed confidence in the future, citing trends such as the digitization of televisions, music players, and cameras. But challenges loomed from the increasingly aggressive discount sector. Was Circuit City as strategically strong as its financial results suggested? Would it be able to maintain momentum and retain its leadership?

Keywords: Change Management; Strategic Planning; Competition; Retail Industry; Consumer Products Industry; Electronics Industry; North America;


Wells, John R., and Galen Danskin. "The Rise of Circuit City Stores, Inc. ." Harvard Business School Case 713-401, June 2012. (Revised November 2012.)