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buybuy Baby, 238 Harbison Boulevard: November 2021   no comments

Posted at 10:56 pm in closing

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As far as I can tell, the official way to refer to this parents' chain is buybuy Baby with the two lowercase buys mushed together followed by an uppercase Baby.

Doing a bit of google work turns up surprisingly little about the specific troubles of this sub-brand. The parent company Bed Bath & Beyond, has been hit hard by retail changes in general, and COVID-19 in particular, and has published plans to shut down around 200 underperforming locations. This would leave about 1200 storefronts, so it is by no means an abandonment of the market. CNBC has stories on this here and here. Neither article specifically addresses buybuy Baby though the second one seems to include those locations in with the Bed Bath & Beyond locations.

The company itself is announcing buybuy Baby initiatives with words like renewed and expanding in the text to, at least, give the impression they still have faith in the brand:

'welcome to parenthood' is buybuy BABY's renewed promise to help make the transition to parenthood as seamless as possible and invites all customers into this new community—which is designed to support parents with the guidance and advice that's best for both them and baby.

buybuy BABY's renewed purpose is part of its parent, Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., to transform the business around the customer as a digital-first, omni-always retailer. The Company last year introduced digital services such as Buy Online Pickup in Store and Curbside Pickup, along with Same Day Delivery, and continues to innovate to put digital purchases into the hands of buybuy BABY customers even sooner.

Be that as it may, *this* store in the old Circuit City location in Harbison *is* closing, and has started the final sale.

(Hat tip to commenter Andrew)

Written by ted on October 21st, 2021

Tagged with , , , , , , ,

Circuit City, 10136 Two Notch Road & 238 Harbison Boulevard: 8 March 2009   39 comments

Posted at 12:00 am in closing

I have written about Circuit City before. In particular, I considered the first and second locations of the Two Notch store here, and the second location of the Harbison store here.

I think the upshot of my thoughts on the chain was that I did not like their first incarnation, which had predatory salesmen (on commission, I assume) and a nosy checkout process (almost as bad as Radio Shack's old checkout process). I liked the business model they adopted with the moves to Harbison and the final Two Notch location a lot better. It was now a "regular" store, and you could get help, but the sales staff would mostly leave you alone until you asked for it.

For some reason, it wasn't enough. I don't understand why the consumer electronics market doesn't have room for a #2 store as well as #1 Best Buy (or number whatever Tweeter) but apparently it doesn't. On the other hand, I don't feel a real loss with Circuit City's demise the way I did with CompUSA's. When Best Buy drove CompUSA under, it was not an adequate replacement. Best Buy simply did not stock the depth of computer parts that CompUSA did. I recall several times needing a part in Columbia, and having either to drive to CompUSA in Augusta or mail order it because no store in Columbia had one. I don't see that as the case with Circuit City as Best Buy pretty well covers their entire stock.

Still it's sad to see anything go under. I'm going to put a break before the bulk of the pictures so the page won't take forever to load if you're not interested, but there are, I think, five different sets there. First is the Harbison store at night just after the closing was announced. (The discounts weren't particularly good that night, though the store was very busy. I heard one employee say to another: We had lots better discounts during the holidays -- where were all these people when it could have helped us?). The second set is daytime shots of the Harbison store on Saturday 7 March 2009 -- the penultimate day of operation. (I went inside and found most items gone, except for racks and racks of USB cables for some reason..). The third set is night shots of the Two Notch store just after bankruptcy was announced. The fourth set is night shots of Two Notch taken, I believe, on 1 March, a week before closing, and the fifth set is exterior and interior shots of the Two Notch store taken today, 8 March 2009 -- the final day of operation.

Actually "operation" is stretching it -- all merchandise was gone, and they were selling off the store fixtures only by that point. I wouldn't have minded having a "media cabinet", but I have no place for it, and it was till a bit pricey for my liking.

Oh well, hopefully H. H. Gregg and Wal Mart will continue to keep Best Buy on its toes because as of today, Circuit City is unplugged.

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