Earlier this month, Circuit City, the 567-store electronics retailing giant that filed for bankruptcy protection in November, announced it was going to liquidate. It's closing all its stores and laying off its 34,000 workers.
Circuit City's suicide is part of an alarming trend in the retail industry. It used to be that companies came out of bankruptcy relatively easily. Chapter 11 was like rehab: a safe place, insulated from the harsh realities of the outside world-like the need to keep current on bills-that gave companies a chance to regroup and relaunch. But these days, companies are simply deciding to end it all.
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