In March 2007, Circuit City came up with a plan to confront softening sales and competition from online and offline retailers: fire the most talented, experienced employees.
Of course, those workers were the retail chain’s single most important point of difference from the legion of Internet retailers and general merchandisers, but in a single stroke, Philip J. Schoonover, the chief executive of Circuit City, wiped out that future.
As a pal of mine used to say when I described a particularly boneheaded course of action I had pursued, “How’d that work out for you, buddy?”
For Circuit City, not so great. The “wage management initiative” erased morale, both for employees and the folks who shopped there. Sales sank after the one-time gain from the layoffs. And last week, the company sought bankruptcy protection [David Carr, "Newspapers Jettisoning Top Talent to Cut Cost," New York Times, 2008.11.16].
So, anyone want to start a pool on when that Sioux Falls paper will file for Chapter 11? Readers, looks like you'd better start filling the Madville Times tip jar (see left sidebar!), and Todd's, and Pat's (assuming he doesn't go on permanent vacation to be Lee Schoenbeck's campaign webmaster). We bloggers may have to take on the media's job full-time.