Circuit City to Close 155 Stores?

A number of rumors were circulating around the web on Sunday, with more than one site saying that on Monday Circuit City will be announcing the closure of 155 stores around the nation.

It's just another bad news item for the struggling retailer, which according to a form filed with the SEC Thursday, has been warned by the NYSE that its stock was "below criteria" because the average closing price was less than $1 per share for the 30 previous days.

With that warning, Circuit City has six months to get the stock's price up. As long as the average 30-day closing price is more than $1 sometime during the next six months, it will continue to be listed on the NYSE.

On Friday, Circuit City stock closed at $0.26 a share.

As early as Oct. 20th, the Wall Street Journal wrote that Circuit City was considering closing 150 stores.

On Sunday, The Consumerist posted a scan of a letter purportedly received by a Circuit City employee about the closures. Click the link to see the scan.

Meanwhile, enGadget posted an email from a Circuit City employee:
"I'm an employee @ Circuit City and today there was a mandatory store meeting for the holiday season and to welcome all the seasonal employees. There was also some tension as rumors were rampant the days before that we were all going to find out we were out of a job today. Luckily, but still somehow unfortunately, I'm still an employee of Circuit City. The same can't be said for the employees of the 155 stores that are closing, possibly even before black Friday. The list of stores that are shutting down will be made public tomorrow. The idea behind closing the stores before Black Friday is to transfer product from the failing stores to the stronger ones to save some money."
Given that earlier Gizmodo said all Sony delivery trucks turned around last week "among worries that Circuit City couldn't pay for the shipments," all this sounds very plausible. Death watch time? Or for some, bargain watch time? We'll see on Monday.