Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Circuit City Stinks

I’ll never shop there again. This is such a low class, corporate baron move that it borders on the immoral. I realize that this sort of thing goes on in an unspoken way all the time in corporate America- but that they’re being so brazen about it shows a callousness that defies description.

Circuit City to cut more than 3,500 jobs

NEW YORK - A new plan for layoffs at Circuit City is openly targeting better-paid workers, risking a public backlash by implying that its wages are as subject to discounts as its flat-screen TVs.

The electronics retailer, facing larger competitors and falling sales, said Wednesday that it would lay off about 3,400 store workers — immediately — and replace them with lower-paid new hires as soon as possible.

That’s right. You’re getting your head handed to you in the business arena so the first place you look to save money is the little guys who work for you. Because you know shaving off $2 per hour for 3500 people who need every dollar they can get is really gonna be a huge advantage for you. Let’s see, if those 3500 people are fulltime employees, that means they work 40 hours a week. So that’s a saving of $80 per week per laid off employee. That comes out to about $4,100 per year per laid off employee. Multiply that by 3500 and you get a yearly payroll savings of about $14.5 million. How much does the CEO of Circuit City make each year? Funny you should ask. If you look on page 13 of the May 2006 Proxy Statement for Circuit City you’ll find that CEO Philip Schnoover had a 2006 compensation package that equalled roughly $4.85 million. The poor dear, he can’t afford to buy his own private jet with such a paltry wage. All the other CEO’s are laughing at him, I’m sure. And if you added up all the 2006 stock options for the executives who lead this foundering ship it comes to a tidy little $17.5 million- which is more than they’ll save by taking away the livelihood of 3500 people who were most likely their most loyal employees (It stands to reason in the world of retail that if the folks have a higher wage then these are the people who have stuck around the longest and been your go-to people). Logic dictates they should actually show leadership and refuse those lucrative stock rewards since they’re doing such a crappy job running the company. Nope. It’s easier to just fire 3500 people making $7.50 per hour and replacing them with people making $5.15 per hour because you know, it’s the floor people’s fault Circuit City is getting it’s butt kicked.


I realize that I’m tipping at windmills here, but if enough people actually called dirty dealing what it is instead of passively rolling over and saying “Well, that’s the way it is in business” then maybe things would be different. I’ll do my part here and now. If enough of us Quixotic types tip at these windmills maybe one day they’ll get the idea. I’ll be in the market for TV’s and appliances again someday. I think you know which store won’t be getting my money.
Read the full, pathetic story here.

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