“Our in-store experience is a bit more

“Our in-store experience is a bit more rational. It doesn’t tug at the emotions quite as much” as Best Buy’s, says Justin Lewis, Circuit City vp of marketing. The client has asked finalists to show how, if the chains were side by side, they would “get the consumer to turn left” into Circuit City. The RFP emphasized retail and creative credentials, as well as success with challenger brands and in differentiating parity brands. Otherwise, the shops are free to “blow out their positioning in any way they see fit,” Lewis says. The client pushed FCB to evolve its “We’re with you” campaign, focusing on the chain’s service heritage, but the ideas were not accepted, and the search was launched in February. Toys R Us vet Ernie Speranza joined in April as CMO and is leading the review committee. Contenders who have met him call him “smart” and “impressive.” Other decision makers are CEO Alan McCollough, Lewis and evp of merchandising Kim McGuire. Hasan + Co. in Raleigh, N.C., is managing the search. Final presentations are this week. Richards goes first, then McCann, then Doner. The client has said to expect a quick decision.