Inside Circuit City’s “The City”
On a recent weekday afternoon in mid-town Manhattan, a 16-year-old named Jonathan Juarez was riffing like he auditioning for a slot as the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ next guitarist. Juarez sat for over an hour, guitar in hand, on a black stool in the demo gaming area of The City, playing along to the Chili Peppers’ anthems via Xbox 360’s Rock Band.
“I’m not really skipping school,” he said, between sets, when asked how he managed to find the time for the mid-day session. “I just kind of left early.”
Juarez wasn’t the only one escaping the regular weekday routine and getting hands-on with personal tech products. In five different “experience zones” at Circuit City’s new 5th Avenue store, customers (referred to by The City staff as “guests”) were surfing the web, watching “Spiderman 3”, shooting photos of each other with the latest cameras and listening to music on a variety of personal media players...all without any sense of being rushed to make a purchase decision.