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

The Fall of Circuit City Stores, Inc.

by John R. Wells and Galen Danskin


On January 16, 2009, after a dismal holiday season, Circuit City was forced into liquidation. Unable to meet creditors' demands, and with no acquirer in sight, Circuit City began the process of liquidating its remaining 567 U.S. stores. Circuit City had been the leader in consumer electronics retailing for nearly twenty years when its profits peaked in 2000. What led to its dramatic decline? Why did three CEOs fail to turn it around? Were these problems present before the 2000 peak?

Keywords: Strategic Planning; Competitive Strategy; Leadership; Consumer Products Industry; Electronics Industry; North America;


Wells, John R., and Galen Danskin. "The Fall of Circuit City Stores, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 713-402, September 2012. (Revised November 2012.)