Circuit City


The Circuit City store at the Huntington Mall opened in 1984 and closed in 2009.


HUNTINGTON — In early 1949, Samuel Wortzel was on vacation in Richmond, Virginia,
 when he went to a local barbershop to get his haircut.
While there, he saw his first television set.

Wortzel knew an opportunity when he saw one. He immediately moved to Richmond
 and opened his first Wards Co. retail store, selling TVs and home appliances.
 (Not to be confused with the Montgomery Ward mail order business.)

More stores followed. At one point, Wortzel had four stores in Richmond
 and began opening others in various states. In the 1970s,
 he helped pioneer the “big box” retail format.

By 1984, the company had nearly 100 stores in 11 states. That year saw the
 company gain a listing on the New York Stock Exchange and change its
name to Circuit City. And 1984 also saw the newly renamed company
open a store at the Huntington Mall. The 5,400-square-foot store,
located on the mall’s perimeter road, specialized in the sale of
name-brand TV sets, stereos, microwave ovens
 and related electronic items.

Circuit City thrived for a number of years but ultimately found it difficult
 to compete with other stores, especially Best Buy. In 2007, it laid
off 3,400 better-paid employees and replaced them with
new workers hired at lower salaries.

In 2008, Circuit City declared bankruptcy and later announced it
would close and liquidate all of its 567 stores, rendering
30,000 employees jobless. The final day of operation
for all Circuit City stores was March 8, 2009.

In 2011, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet opened a new store in the
 former Circuit City building at the Huntington Mall.


Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on Sep. 24, 2019.


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