Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Circuit City employees speak

November 3, 2008

Circuit City employees say they’re not surprised the struggling retailer is closing 155 stores in an attempt to remain solvent amid deteriorating liquidity and tighter credit conditions from vendors.

Employees interviewed by Reuters correspondent Chelsea Emery at Circuit City’s Paramus Towne Square, New Jersey store seemed resigned to difficut times ahead. The store is not among the 155 slated to close and employees who work there declined to give their last names.

“People thought (this news) was coming with the economy. It’s not a big surprise. They’ve (corporate headquarters) got to do what they’ve got to do. They’re not going to get bailed out like Lehman Brothers,” said television salesman Marko. “People aren’t going to buy plasma TVs when they can’t buy milk … We (employees) are trying to stay positive as we can.”

David, a supervisor for Firedog, said the store had a meeting this morning about the closures. “We’re all nervous,” he said, adding that employees had been told earlier in the year that any store closures would happen much later, even into January. “This (news today about 155 stores) is unexpected.”

Employees “are all nervous. We’re trying to fight to stay open,” computer salesman Anthony said.



I used to like Circuit City a lot more than I liked Best Buy. Unfortunately things have changed over the years and it just isn’t the same place I used to love. All of the Circuit City stores in my region of Southern California have either relocated or remodeled and they now all feel like Best Buy now… only with a red color scheme.

What I miss the most are the higher end electronics they used to sell such as the upper end of the Onkyo and Polk Audio product lines. They now sell only the lower to mid line products from those brands. I also miss the actual sound rooms that allowed you to audition audio and video equipment before you bought it. I also wish they would go back to CD and DVD displays from a few years ago that actually allow you to browse the titles easily.

I hear the same company that helped K-Mart avoid going out of business is running the show at Circuit City now. I hope they have another success in this case because I’d hate to see the chain close down completely.


I worked for Circuit City for over 10 years in the Dallas Ft Worth market and was a top producer consistently not only in my store but in my district. I made a fair living not getting rich but getting by and saving some. I say this as a preface not to brag but to point out that a retail job where ones income is determined by competence,professionalism, and character is tough to survive for a lengthy period of time. Every year I got new compensation plans, sometimes in mid year. I saw the floor workers who waited on the consumer take pay cuts time and again but not so much at management levels. I saw a bunch of Best Buy castoffs and wannabe’s be recruited because they ran a non incentive based business for employee compensation. Some of the managers resented the tenured Circuit City veterans and were devious in making our lives miserable. Once some of us left they were bring former comrades over from Best Buy. I left several years ago knowing that this day was coming. I feel no sorrow for the apparent demise of this former retail giant. I only hope that the senior staff who made such decisions as to fire their most experienced staff so that they could offer them a job at a lower wage lost their shirts for their greed and stupidity.

Posted by DGT | Report as abusive

I work at Circuit City store# 3794 in Chicago. We were all shocked that our store was part of the closures we knew were coming. My store has only been open 5 years, and we were the top grossing store in our district this year. The reason they closed us is unknown, though we have our guesses, more than likely CCity knew it would be filing chapter 11 before the closures, and, as CCity does not own the building our store is located in, knew that they could cut out the $3 million they owe to Stein (the building owner) as when you file chapter 11, it becomes very hard for anyone to get anything from you.(We were 5 years into a 20 year lease.)

More than anything, and I speak, I believe, for most of the people I work with, we are more upset over losing what we have come to think of as a family then the actual job itself. There are always more jobs, but once you find a group of excellent people, it’s very hard to replace them, if not impossible. Now we all get split apart, no hope for most of any job with another Circuit City, lots of people are going to PetsMart and of course, Best Buy.

Posted by Christina | Report as abusive

i had to get $150 rebate for HP Notebook Computer and didnt


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