Standing Over Circuit City's Cooling Corpse, Walmart Steps Up Its Electronics Game

Where many see death and despair, Walmart's executives see opportunity. Starting this week, the big-box giant is drastically expanding its stores' electronics sections, hoping to compete head-on with the likes of Best Buy and Amazon.

A senior VP for the company was blunt about their ambitions, exclaiming "Circuit City's business is up for grabs right now and we expect to get our share." Their plan includes all the mainstay techniques of their competitors: dedicated brand displays for brands like Apple; aggressive bids for new phone offerings, including, contrary to some reports, the Palm Pre; a full embrace of the netbook craze; the addition of eye-catching, higher-end TV sets and home theater equipment.

The new fixtures, displays and directives will start making their way to stores this week. This is good news for communities once served exclusively by Circuit City, and could help drive down electronics prices for everyone. That said, it'll definitely make a lot of people squirm a little bit. The report explains why: despite Circuit City's demise, Best Buy isn't doing that well, as they—like most electronics stores—struggle to get people through the doors in leaner economic times. Thing is, Walmart is doing very well, and will probably continue to do so no matter how bad the economy gets. It's happened before, people. [WSJ—Photo by Brandon Thibodeaux for the WSJ]