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U.S. consumer electronics retail giant Circuit City has filed for ‘Chapter 11’ bankruptcy protection, to stave off creditors at least through the coming holiday sales season.

As CNet’s Margaret Kane  reports, “Circuit City announced earlier this month that it would shutter 155 stores and lay off 17 percent of its workforce. The retailer said Monday that it will eliminate an additional 700 positions in addition to the reductions resulting from the store closings, bringing the total layoff projection to around 20 percent of its employees. According to the company’s FAQ, in February it had approximately 45,900 employees, not including workers taken on during peak selling periods.”

Circuit City acting CEO James Marcum told reporters the company has secured a little over (US)$1 billion in very-short-term credit to keep the chain afloat while he and his management team attempt to restructure the company’s finances. Chapter 11 protection will also allow the company to stay open and make the most of the coming holiday spending splurge — such as that ‘splurge’ may be this lean year.

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