The deaths of Circuit City and RadioShack have painted a grim picture of the future of electronics retailers like Best Buy, but it’s not all doom and gloom. For starters, RadioShack won’t be dying off entirely, and as Twice Magazine reported on Tuesday, Circuit City is actually preparing to make a comeback. Ronny Shmoel is the man behind this comeback, and he has no intention of making the same mistakes that killed the chain in the first place. Rather than try to be a large retailer like Best Buy, Shmoel wants Circuit City to consist of small, easy to manage boutique stores that cater to millennials and focus on e-commerce.
Grab your video cassette rewinders and anti-shock CD players: Circuit City is coming back. Circuit City, everyone’s favorite defunct electronics chain (sorry Radio Shack!), is coming back from the dead this spring with online and bricks-and-mortar stores, courtesy of one longtime industry exec with big dreams of saving the retail world and proving millennials will still shop in stores for gadgets. “The name really resonates very well with everybody. It’s been out of the negative press for a while already,” says Ronny Shmoel, the man who bought Circuit City’s assets in October and has since named himself CEO. “We did some polls and found that the age groups between 25-35 know the brand.” The news was first reported by Twice Magazine, a publication focused on the retail industry. His plan for Circuit City’s comeback, in a nutshell: build a robust e-commerce presence and smaller and more manageable stores — not the giant superstores of old — with a focus on products that appeal to the coveted millennial demographic rather than their parents. That will include a focus on gaming, wearable devices, 3D printers and tablets, among other gadgets. “I’m on the cusp of being a millennial,” Shmoel adds, by way of explaining his thinking. “I’m going to be 38.” The retail chain grew into a giant of the industry with the rise of mass market consumer electronics only to go bankrupt abruptly in 2008 with the onset of the financial crisis and shifting customer tastes.