As you may have heard, Circuit City declared bankruptcy today… they are not the first retailer to have issues this year (see: Linens ‘n’ Things, Sharper Image, among others). I doubt they will be the last either.
Here’s some free advice: don’t buy gift cards as gifts, and if you have some on hand, use them now. One of the first things that happens when a retailer goes bankrupt is that gift cards usually become worthless.
Circuit City is still honoring cards for now, though how long that practice lasts is anyone’s guess. As the linked article indicates, the retailer will have to get approval from the bankruptcy court sooner or later, and since gift cards are considered unsecured debt, they will probably be close to the top of the list of things that gets axed.