Circuit City Tests Catalog

Electronics chain Circuit City is tuning into the catalog channel: The Richmond, VA-based retailer dropped 1 million copies of a Back–to-School catalog in the second week in July, according to spokesperson Amanda Tate. The 80-page catalog sells notebook computers, digital cameras, printers, and home entertainment systems.

The $10.5 billion Circuit City is the third largest consumer electronics chain, trailing only Wal-Mart and Best Buy. The company operates more than 600 superstores and has had a Website since 1999. (The site was relaunched in September 2004.) Although Tate says Circuit City does not break out its Web business, its annual report states that that the direct-to-consumer business is growing rapidly.

With the catalog, Circuit City is following in the steps of Minneapolis-based Best Buy, which mailed 400,000 copies of a 52-page business-to-business book titled Best Buy for Business in August 2004. Both Best Buy and Circuit City will let customers ordering merchandise from the catalog pick it up at the store; they can also return catalog items to stores as well.

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