The nation's second-largest consumer-electronics chain joined a line of big retailers that have collapsed in 2008. The bankruptcy announcement came only a week after Circuit City announced it was closing one-fifth of its stores.

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The bankruptcy filing of Circuit City on Monday suggests the retail environment is rapidly deteriorating.

The nation’s second-largest consumer-electronics chain joined a line of big retailers that have collapsed in 2008. The bankruptcy announcement came only a week after Circuit City announced it was closing one-fifth of its stores.

The chain, which has faced competition from Best Buy, Wal-Mart and online electronics sellers such as Seattle-based Amazon.com, said it plans to restructure. But some analysts expressed doubts that Circuit City would emerge from bankruptcy and said the coming months would be critical in determining the company’s future.

“I think it’s a toss-up on whether they can come out or not,” said Jerry Mozian, a turnaround specialist who manages the restructuring division at consulting company Tatum. “We’re headed into an extremely difficult 2009, and I don’t think anybody’s sure how bad it’s going to get.”