Note: This is largely a cross-post from my technology blog on ZDNet.
Over more than two decades, I've bought my share of small electronics, computer and telephony equipment, and even a few tvs at Circuit City. From the show floor to the loading dock to my front door, I've always been pleased with their service. I've looked forward to subsequent shopping experiences there.
But no more.
Not after Circuit City's announcement on Wednesday that they are laying off nearly 4,000 (uh, relatively) highly paid employees in favor of filling their ranks with lower-paid, presumably less experienced workers and hires.
CC's bottom line has shown some distress, lately. $110 million will be saved by this move, Circuit City says.
But I say to CC to not jump the gun on your math. I and millions of other discriminating technology and appliance buyers will opt for alternative chains where short-sighted parsimony and cruelty are not at the heart of policy. Places such as BestBuy and Fry's come to mind.
Interviewed by MSNBC.com's Eve Tahmincioglu, Kevin Clark, an assistant professor of management at Villanova School of Business, asks, "Where will Circuit City find quality workers at a significantly lower wage?"
Listen, I know that you retail outlets are not charities. That's why I didn't raise a regretful phrase when CompUSA decided to save on expenses by shuttering the doors of underperforming stores.
But giving your most knowledgeable and presumably, your most dedicated workers the heave-ho strikes me as a spit in their eye. They put in years of tireless effort for you, executing policy, turning inventory, acquiring product knowledge and sales skills- and now you kick them in the balls. Or in the case of your, uh "overpaid" female workers.. (sorry, my Mom raised a gentleman).
Sorry,Circuit City, but as someone who comes from blue-collar working stock, I can't abide this decision of yours. I mean you may consider your fat private-equity and institutional shareholders much more important than loyalty, but you are not striking a balance here.
And although I don't consider myself a socialist, I'd rather be accused of that label than be accused of what I am terming your executives to be. Heartless beings in suits.
Infinitely more crudely put, hey Circuit City, f*** you.