Circuit City was one of the lamest, poorly run, least intelligent electronics stores I have been in. When I know more about the TV's, receivers and digital gear than the staff knows, there is a huge disconnect. I say Good Riddance to Circuit City. Best Buy just pounded the final nail into their coffin.
The author Jim Collins still makes a good point though. I don't doubt him that Circuit City indeed went from good to great in the same way that a person can go from unhealthy to in-shape. If that same person becomes fat again in the future, it does not mean that the health principles he learned will be defunct.
Circuit City became lazy later on. Their sales associates had bad attitudes and unwilling to help. I remember going to a store one time dressed in a semi-ragged manner. I looked around for a new camcorder for over half an hour without anyone trying to help me. Some associates even made eye contact and just moved on. They probably thought I was too poor to buy anything! Their culture was crap towards the very end, and thus their untimely demise.
In contrast, Best Buy have really intelligent and friendly associates.
I don't like the metric used in determining a great company (stock value). I prefer profit and the value of customer service-- and some measure of sustainability would be nicer than a fifteen year window. Circuit City's demise is typical of a company with incurable ills that were there long before they went under. Wall Street can bury a public company due to the whims of the investors, even when it is healthy otherwise.