Friday, March 30, 2007

You're Fired

222 You’re Fired!

Move over Donald Trump, you don’t have a lock on the phrase “You’re Fired!”

But first, here’s a quiz for all you guys who used to work at Circuit City, the ones who make too much dough and can apply for your old jobs back – at a lower salary.

This is in lieu of an auction in which the 3500 lowest bidders got to keep working.

How do you know you’re overpaid? Easy. Just take this simple test:

1. When you walk into the house and flip the light switch, did the light turn on?

2. When you pick up the phone is there a dial tone?

3. Did you eat today?

4. Is there gas in the car?

5. Could you board the bus or subway without searching the ground for someone else’s spilled loose change?

If you answered yes to any of the above, you’re overpaid.

But maybe, you’re GROSLY overpaid. How do you know? Here’s another simple test:

1. Do you have medical insurance?

2. Is your car worth more than $3,000?

3. Have you taken a vacation trip in any of the last six years?

4. Do you have a big screen television, a DVD player or a computer that runs “Vista” and has more than one gig of memory?

5. Is there a bottle of single malt scotch in your house?

6. Have you ever bought angus or Kobe beef?

If you answered yes to any of the above, you are grossly overpaid.

But not like the guy who runs (or by now, ran) this outfit. He made something like two million and salary and bonus in 2005, the last year for which we could find solid figures not open to interpretation. So even if he took a 50% cut, he made more than the total of 60 or so of the headless.

This joint’s out of ideas and mostly parrot what their more successful cross-town competitor does. Granted there’s scarce little difference between the two, why is one better off than the other? Luck? Promotions? Locations?

There’s only one way to turn around a retail disaster-in-waiting: sell more stuff. Cost cutting works only to a point.

You can give away the store. But that, like cutbacks, is only a short term solution. You can pull the plug and let the patient die., but that often serves no one. Maybe you could start by making sense of the selling floor, which would mean –oh, say putting the vacuum cleaners somewhere other than next to the computer ink cartridges. They could improve (or create) “customer rewards,” restore commission sales, develop house brands, think up new promotions. That would improve things. Or not.

Interesting, but hardly unique: as soon as they announced the job cuts, the stock rose. Take that to its logical conclusion and fire everyone, so the stock goes through the roof.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2007 WJR

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