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‘Undead’ Circuit City Won’t Rise If It Forgets What Killed It

Remember Circuit City?

It was featured in the bestselling book Good to Great as one of 11 exemplary organizations that showed “why some companies make the leap and others don’t.”

And then it didn’t.

It died in 2009, a victim of the recession, its own knuckleheadedness, and Best Buy’s smarter strategy and management. Well, most of it died. The brand is still floating out there in cyberspace, undead, part of what one industry website calls “zombie retail.”

Its CEO (yes, it has one) says the company is coming back in the form of stores, kiosks, and a website where people could actually buy something. But will it have learned the management lessons of its namesake predecessor?

Those “Good to Great to (Almost) Gone” lessons are at the heart of my latest column for Forbes.


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