Port Washington, N.Y.-based Systemax Monday finalized its purchase of the defunct retailer's trade names, domains including www.circuitcity.com, customer lists and information, certain trademarks and other intangible assets of Circuit City's e-commerce business.
While the retailer's rebirth is welcome news to consumers looking for competitive prices, the company's harsh return policy could turn shoppers away.
"Some manufacturers have implemented returns restrictions that prevent CircuitCity.com from being able to accept returns or offer exchanges, replacements or credits on their products," the company said on its Web site.
"Products from manufacturers such as Compaq, IBM, Hewlett Packard, Toshiba, Epson and others are not returnable to CircuitCity.com FOR ANY REASON,"" according to the site. Circuit City said that all support and exchanges or replacements for defective merchandise, including those within the first 30 days of ownership, have to be handled directly with the product manufacturer.
In addition, software and consumables such as toner cartridges, ink cartridges and digital media are not returnable, period.
Circuit City did not offer an explanation as to why vendors require customers to bypass the retailer and deal directly with the vendors.
Systemax this month paid $14 million in cash for Circuit City's assets, and offered the retailer a share of future revenue generated using those assets over a 30-month period, Systemax said in a statement. Under the terms of the agreement, the minimum future revenue guaranteed to Circuit City is $3 million. A bankruptcy court issued its order approving the transaction on May 15, following a public auction on May 11.
Systemax also upped its brick-and-mortar presence after it bought CompUSA in January 2008 in a deal said to be worth approximately $31 million. Under terms of that deal, Systemax bought 16 CompUSA stores, its brand name and e-commerce sites. Systemax said part of its strategy behind the purchase was to complement its TigerDirect e-commerce site and retail stores.
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