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Nostalgia doesn't blunt the harsh reality of Circuit City deal seekers

CLEARWATER — The parking lot of the only Circuit City in north Pinellas County was jammed Monday. It looked like a Christmas shopping rush, but the only people celebrating were bargain hunters.

Going out of business! said a sign posted over the front door.

Like every other Circuit City location, this big box store at the northwest corner of U.S. 19 and Sunset Point Road is selling off its inventory and is expected to close by the end of March.

Since the consumer electronics chain announced Friday that it's calling it quits, shoppers have been scouring the Clearwater store for deals on digital cameras and plasma TVs.

They have mixed reactions to the store's demise.

"It's really sad. I've been coming here for years. I like this place better than Best Buy," said Paul Hawley of Safety Harbor.

"Too bad, but things are tough all over," said Gary Roush of Clearwater. "I was hoping for better deals."

Outside the store, signs screamed Total liquidation! Up to 30 percent off! Inside, most merchandise was 10 percent off.

When this Circuit City location opened in 1995, it was the largest in the Tampa Bay area. The store moved into its own 42,000-square-foot building and out of a smaller space in the Sunset Point shopping center on the opposite corner of the same intersection.

"It's a shame," said Mike Johnson, owner of the Auto Depot repair center next door. "That store's always been busy, too."

Mike Brassfield can be reached at brassfield@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4160.

Nostalgia doesn't blunt the harsh reality of Circuit City deal seekers 01/19/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 10:48am]
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