Circuit City auction canceled for lack of interest
LOS ANGELES Dec 17 (Reuters) - Bankrupt electronics chain Circuit City Stores Inc CCTYQ.PK did not receive enough bids on leases for stores it plans to shutter, forcing it to cancel an auction set for Thursday, a company spokesman said on Wednesday.
Circuit City, the second-largest U.S. electronics retailer, is in the process of liquidating merchandise at 155 stores in 55 markets and plans to conclude those sales by the end of the month, Circuit City spokesman Bill Cimino said in an email.
The chain had received permission from the U.S. bankruptcy court to auction the leases for all but one of those stores.
Circuit City filed for Chapter 11 protection in its headquarters city of Richmond, Virginia, last month. It is looking to restructure operations and exit bankruptcy protection in the first half of next year.
A notice of the auction cancellation posted on the website of the company's bankruptcy administrators said the chain "did not receive any bids on leases the substance of which required them to post information on this Website or otherwise transmit information to any landlords."
Circuit City competes with Best Buy Co (BBY.N), which on Tuesday posted better-than-expected quarterly results but said it was offering voluntary exit packages to its headquarters staff and planned to scale back store openings.
Best Buy has stated that it may look to pursue stores closed by rivals should the vacant space make sense for its brands.
"We did not receive enough bids to conduct this auction," Circuit City's Cimino said. "In the motion authorizing the auction, I believe it provided that if the auction failed, we could reject the leases at the end of the month." (Reporting by Gina Keating, with added reporting by Karen Jacobs in Atlanta, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)
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