January 25, 2008, 12:00 AM

Circuit City surpasses $1 billion web sales

Citing a “massive shift” in how consumers shop across retail channels, Circuit City Stores chief Philip Schoonover says the multi-channel retailer’s web sales will grow 40% in its current fiscal year to $1.4 billion, or to 13% from 8% of total sales.

Citing a “massive shift” in how consumers are shopping across retail channels, Circuit City Stores Inc. president, chairman and CEO Philip Schoonover says the multi-channel retailer’s web sales will reach $1.4 billion for the fiscal year ending Feb. 28, or to 13% from 8% of total sales.

Schoonover, speaking on a panel on multi-channel retailing at the National Retail Federation’s annual conference last week, said multi-channel shopping activity is rising in several distinct areas as the web becomes more central to retailing. For example, more than half of the retailer’s online customers sometimes pick up products at a Circuit City store, up from 25% a year ago, he said.

Circuit City is No. 17 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

Consumers are also expecting more from the online shopping experience, he added. When viewing online content, for example, more consumers don’t want to settle for traditional static images. “Video is the way people want to receive content,” Schoonover says. “Millenials especially want to see in videos what they’re buying.”

Going forward, Circuit City is hoping growth in multi-channel retailing will help it climb out of poor financial performance, which resulted in a net loss of $325.7 million on $8.1 billion in total sales for the third quarter ended November 30, 2007. The retailer has also deployed a new multi-channel management team headed by Brian S. Bradley, a former executive of Capital One Financial Corp. and consultants McKinsey & Co., who joined Circuit City in 2005 and was recently promoted to senior vice president, multi-channel.

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