Circuit City in Conyers will close

CONYERS - Circuit City store in Conyers will close as part of a major business restructuring move announced Monday that involves shutting 20 percent of its stores across the U.S.

The Conyers store, located at 1540 Dogwood Drive in the Conyers Crossroads shopping center, will close today and reopen Wednesday to begin its closing sale that company officials said should be completed by year's end.

The local store was one of 155 stores to be closed. The move also means Circuit City will pull out of 12 U.S. cities, including Kansas City and Phoenix. Atlanta will lose 17 stores and Macon will lose its only Circuit City store. The Circuit City location in Rome will remain open.

The store closures will result in a reduction of about 17 percent of the company's U.S. work force. Circuit City will continue to operate 566 stores in 153 cities, according to a statement released by the company on Monday.

Company officials cited the weakened economy that had slowed consumer spending considerably as one reason for the move.

Also, the company said some of its vendors had set more restrictive payment terms during the last quarter as credit in the business markets tightened.

James A. Marcum, vice chairman and acting president and CEO of Circuit City, said those reasons, and indications of a weak holiday shopping season, forced the company to scale back its operations.

"The combination of these trends has strained severely our working capital and liquidity, and so we are making a number of difficult, but necessary, decisions to address the company's financial situation as quickly as possible," Marcum said in the statement.

The company said it will honor its warranties and other commitments to customers through its Web site, www.circuitcity.com and by telephone at 1-800-843-2489.

The Conyers Circuit City was one of the anchor stores at the Conyers Crossroads shopping center that opened in 2000.

It was undetermined how much business the Conyers store generated, though the company said in its statement Monday that all stores being closed had on average lower net sales compared to those that will remain open. In the past year, the Conyers store was charged $27,640 in personal property tax for store inventory, according to Rockdale County Tax Commissioner Dan Ray.

Ray said the loss of a local retailer the size of Circuit City will have a significant sales tax impact for Rockdale County, the city of Conyers and the Rockdale County Public School System.

Jay Jones can be reached at jay.jones@rockdalecitizen.com.