Circuit Breaker

Nov 3, 2008 1:22pm

Did you shop very much at Circuit City?  Did you find yourself alone there? The chain, facing a one-year decline in same-store sales of 13 percent — even before the market tanked — has announced it is closing 155 of its stores, cutting its U.S. workforce 17 percent. The company’s list of stores to be closed is HERE.  Going-out-of-business sales start Wednesday.

The company is in enough trouble that its stock has been trading below one dollar a share for the last month — low enough that the New York Stock Exchange threatened to stop listing it.  "We deeply regret the impact today’s announcement will have on our associates, our guests and the communities where these stores are located," said James A. Marcum, the company’s acting president and CEO, in a statement.  "We truly are grateful to each of our associates for their many contributions to the company." It’s a tragedy to hear yet one more announcement of people losing their jobs, and it will hardly be the last this year.  But more than one reporter or business analyst said the chain helped do itself in.  Long before the market decline, it laid off many of its sales people on the grounds that they were too highly paid — which is another way of saying they were the most experienced.

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