Circuit City Trying To Get Social

Taking a calculated risk, CircuitCity this week unveiled a social interaction feature to its E-Commerce site, where it's customers can exchange on-topic messages. CC's premise and hope: customers will bash and praise various manufacturers, while pretty much ignoring other retailers. If the chain's new "CityCenter Community" facilitates unhappy customers warning others away from CircuitCity, that's when the chain's commitment to a social Web site will be tested.

"Circuit City wants to empower consumers with innovative approaches to shopping," said Mark Oldani, vice president and general manager of Circuit City Direct. "We were the first multichannel retailer to incorporate customer-centric features such as ratings, reviews and discussion forums, and our new CityCenter builds on this tradition, adding blogs, personal profiles and photo galleries to Circuit City's growing online community."