Circuit City Closings Short-Change Consumers

Circuit City closing 155 of its stores and laying off 17 percent of its work force will leave consumers in a lurch, especially as the ever important holiday shopping season begins rearing its head. "For consumers, a lack of diversity is never good," said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis of the NPD Group, a retail industry analysis firm. "Clearly, people closing stores, especially one of the big guys, isn't a good thing."

According to Baker, the Circuit City closings will give consumers a lack of choice of where to buy consumer electronics. In the end, consumers will have to travel further to get the items they want while also having a narrower product selection at their disposal. It will also give consumers fewer pricing options. "Your opportunity to buy things is somewhat diminished," Baker said. Circuit City built its name by consistently undercutting the competition, offering electronics at a few dollars cheaper than Best Buy and others to get an edge.

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