There was plenty of excitement in the retail sector after TWICE broke the news in January that an outside investor had acquired the iconic Circuit City brand, with plans to revive the business and open anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 new locations over the next five years.
And then, nothing.
So, TWICE recently caught up with Ronny Shmoel, a former DataVision exec with experience in the New York area retail industry, who acquired the Circuit City brand last October from IT supplier Systemax, for an update on whatever happened to a Dallas prototype store promised for June and where things stand with the current revitalization efforts.
“A lot has changed since TWICE first broke the story back in January,” Shmoel said in a statement to TWICE. “We could have easily leased a location, put some product in and opened the doors for business. Instead, we are taking our time to get this right. The response from our first announcement was overwhelming. Our vendors are very excited about the project. We have people from every industry reaching out, offering their services to help us rebuild this brand.”
Shmoel went on to add that, because of such an enthusiastic response to the initial revitalization news, plans for the prototype store have increased from the 2,000–4,000 square feet range to the 6,000–9,000 square foot range. He said a lot of thought is also being put into the “design and layout and technology of the store” to ensure it “gives customers the experience they want to see in retail today and is more scalable for future growth.”
The revamped Circuit City will also focus on products targeted to a millennial audience — such as pre- and postpaid smartphones, tablets, wearables, gaming equipment and drones — and stick to small-box retail locations in heavily populated yet affordable real estate markets, licensed kiosks, franchises and eCommerce. Shmoel initially told TWICE when the news broke back in January.
He said work is also underway on the Circuitcity.com website and that he was working with brokers from CBRE in Dallas to “find the perfect spot in one of the top trade areas in the Dallas-Fort Worth area” for the prototype store.