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Circuit City says it lost $54.6 million

Circuit City says it lost $54.6 million

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RICHMOND, Va. - Electronics retailer Circuit City Stores Inc. said Wednesday it lost $54.6 million in the first fiscal quarter - when it cut jobs to reduce costs and restructured to fend off competition - and withdrew its earnings guidance for 2008.

The results came a day after larger rival Best Buy Co. reported sharply lower first-quarter profit and downgraded its 2008 earnings outlook. Both retailers say the softening economy is steering shoppers away from high-margin items such as flat-screen televisions.

Rising gas prices are having a direct impact on everyday spending, and middle-income shoppers are almost as likely to curb their spending as those with incomes under $50,000, said retail consultant Wendy Liebmann.

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