Systemax and Hilco are soliciting bids for CircuitCity.com and CompUSA.com.
Mark Brohan , Research Director
Shelved by Systemax Inc. in December, the e-commerce brands of CircuitCity.com and CompUSA.com may soon be available to the highest bidder.
Systemax, No. 25 in the 2013 Internet Retailer Top 500 has commissioned retail industry auctioneer and liquidation specialist Hilco Streambank to evaluate possible bids for CircuitCity.com and 138 related URLs as well as CompUSA.com and 141 related domain names. Initial bids are due to Hilco by Aug. 15.
“Right now we are looking to see what interest there is out there,” says Hilco director Matt Helming. “That will help to determine if there will be an auction.”
Systemax, which bought both brands through bankruptcy proceedings in recent years, moved late last year to consolidate all of its remaining CompUSA assets, including CompUSA.com, and CircuitCity.com, into its core consumer brand: TigerDirect.com. At the time Systemax reported it would take a $34 million pre-tax charge in the final quarter to consolidate all of its North American retail operations, including the store and web operations of CompUSA and CircuitCity.com, under Tiger Direct. CircuitCity.com has been exclusively an online brand since Systemax acquired it in 2009.
Hilco isn’t saying how many, if any, potential bidders have come forth so far. If there is serious interest, Hilco will ask potential bidders to sign a non-disclosure agreement and and then provide them access to additional information, including some financial metrics, Helming says.
In May 2009 Systemax had the winning bid of $14 million to acquire the assets of CircuitCity.com and certain undisclosed customer information related to the web and other intellectual property.
But this time it’s only the Circuit City and CompUSA URLs that will be up for auction, Hilco says. “This offering presents a unique opportunity to own two iconic and worldwide-known consumer electronics brands that are universally recognized by consumers,” Hilco says. “Circuit City and CompUSA were two of the pioneers in the mass expansion of the retail consumer electronics industry.”