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Originally published March 8, 2009 at 3:40 PM | Page modified March 8, 2009 at 4:22 PM

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Timeline of Circuit City Stores Inc.

A look at the history of consumer electronics retailer Circuit City Stores Inc.:

A look at the history of consumer electronics retailer Circuit City Stores Inc.:

1949: Samuel S. Wurtzel opens first Wards Company retail store in Richmond, Va.

1959: Wards operates four television and home appliance stores in Richmond with annual sales volume of about $1 million.

1960: Expands operations via licensed departments in mass merchandising discount stores.

1961: Makes first public offering with Stein Brothers & Boyce Co. of Baltimore. Offers 110,000 shares at $5.375 per share (split adjusted, 2 cents per share).

1966: Sales reach $23 million for the fiscal year.

1968: Moves from the over-the-counter market to the American Stock Exchange. Offers 1,700 shares at $19.75 per share (split adjusted, 55 cents per share).

1969-1982: Company acquires numerous electronics retailers and operates stores from New York to California.

1983: Sales reach $246 million for the fiscal year.

1984: Company name changes to Circuit City Stores Inc.; Stock listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

1987: Sales reach the $1 billion mark for the fiscal year ending Feb. 28, 1987.

1989: First personal computers hit Circuit City store shelves.


1990: Sales reach the $2 billion mark for the fiscal year ending Feb. 28, 1990.

1993: Begins testing CarMax, a retail venture selling used vehicles.

1996: CarMax announces plans for national expansion of the concept.

1999: Circuit City launches Web site to offer online shopping; annual sales for Circuit City store businesses exceed $10 billion and annual sales for the CarMax superstores exceed $2 billion.

2000: Circuit City exits the appliance business.

2002: Circuit City completes the separation of CarMax.

2003: The company rejects takeover bid from Mexican financier Carlos Slim Helu.

2004: Circuit City acquires Ontario-based InterTAN Inc., a consumer electronics retailer of private-label and internationally branded products.

2005: Company rejects unsolicited $3.25 billion cash buyout offer from Boston investment firm Highfields Capital Management LP

2006: Circuit City launches Firedog, a PC services and home-installation business.

2007: Circuit City announces plans to explore strategic alternatives for InterTAN Inc.; lays off about 3,400 retail employees and replaces them with lower-paid workers; launches new store prototype "The City."

April 2008: Dallas-based movie-rental chain Blockbuster Inc. makes public a more than $1 billion takeover bid for Circuit City with dreams of creating a huge chain that would sell electronic gadgets and rent movies and games.

May 2008: Circuit City's board of directors authorizes the exploration of strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value; Opens books to Blockbuster.

June 2008: Circuit City reaches agreement with shareholder Wattles Capital Management to nominate three directors, including James A. Marcum to its board to defuse proxy battle.

July 2008: Blockbuster withdraws takeover bid, citing market conditions.

August 2008: Marcum named vice chairman.

Sept. 22, 2008: Philip J. Schoonover steps down as Circuit City's chief executive, chairman and president; Marcum named as interim president and chief executive.

Sept. 29, 2008: Circuit City withdraws its outlook for the full year and posts a wider second-quarter loss as sales fell 10 percent; Shares fall more than 20 percent.

Nov. 3, 2008: Circuit City says it will close 155 stores in 55 U.S. markets by Dec. 31, laying off about 17 percent of its domestic work force. Company says it will further reduce new store openings and plans to work with landlords to renegotiate leases, lower rent or terminate agreements while it deals with tightening credit from its vendors.

Nov. 7, 2008: Circuit City lays off about 700 employees at its headquarters.

Nov. 10, 2008: Circuit City files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Jan. 16, 2009: Circuit City announces plans to liquidate.

March 2, 2009: Circuit City announces sale of 750 The Source electronics stores across Canada operated by Circuit City's InterTAN subsidiary to telecommunications company Bell Canada.

March 8, 2009: Circuit City's remaining 567 U.S. stores close.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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