SAN FRANCISCO -- Ailing electronics chain Circuit City ( CC), struggling to reverse slumping sales and ongoing losses, hired a retail consultant to serve as chief operating officer. John Harlow, 49, will be in charge of Circuit City's retail stores, real estate, information technology and supply chain. He most recently was a retail director with Deloitte Consulting and had worked with Circuit City over the past year. Circuit City said Harlow has nearly 20 years of experience as a senior retail operator and turnaround executive. Prior to Deloitte, he was vice president of operations for the A&P U.S. division of supermarket operator Great Atlantic & Pacific ( GAP). "John's valuable retail experience and specific insights into Circuit City's business will enable him to act effectively to generate improved performance at Circuit City," said Philip Schoonover, chief executive of Circuit City, in a statement. "John will focus on retail execution, profitable sales improvement, improving the customer experience, and implementing new systems for long-term sustainable earnings growth." The Richmond, Va.-based company has been struggling to boost its sales as customers flee to competitors like Best Buy ( BBY). For December, Circuit City reported an 11.4% drop in same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year, hurt in part by an ongoing restructuring plan that has disrupted its stores. The company also said George Clark, vice president of multi-channel sales, will depart, and it named two executives to the direct channel and merchandising teams. "The changes we are making today bring proven turnaround experience to the retail team and enable us to continue to move forward with our turnaround of the core business and accelerate our growth initiatives," Schoonover said.