Is Circuit City going out of business?
Yesterday, I walked into the Circuit City in McLean, Virginia (just outside the Washington DC beltway) and was surprized to see four Circuit City employees in their bright red shirts sitting outside on the sidewalk goofing off. As I entered the lonely Circuit City on this particular Saturday afternoon, I also noticed the store was virtually empty. “Strange”, I thought to myself, as I had just left a very busy Target and Best Buy.
My quest targeted exclusively around a Cable Modem to hook up my new Comcast connection, but there didn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason for how the store was organized. My mantra for organization is, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Obviously, Circuit City and I do not share the same school of thought with regard to both organization and customer service.
I finally managed to find the sole employee on the floor, who seemed to be deeply engaged in a conversation with a couple, so engaged that he wasn’t even aware that I was patiently waiting for him. As scarce as employees were on the floor of Circuit City, I would have hoped that he could to a little multi-tasking and simply point a finger to the right general direction of cable modems.
Frustrated, I walk over to the cash registers and cannot find a single employee, much less customers. I find my way to the manager’s area and see a lumpy looking guy sitting on a bar stool in his bright red shirt that now looks more like a cross between a Christmas tree ornament and a huge Hershey’s kiss. He seemed lost in thought and I hated to disturb his day dream. So, with a little bit of guilt, I asked him Why there are four Circuit City employees jacking off in the parking lot while only one employee is on the floor? Snapping out of his deep thought, he asked me What am I looking for? I told him cable modems.
Rather than extend his arm and point me in the right direction or simply give me an aisle number (as if they had one), he walks out to the parking lot to find somebody. Meanwhile, I wander the aisles until I finally find only one choice of cable modems in the entire store.
You would think (at least I would) that as many cable modem manufacturers there are and as many variety and speeds of cable modems that exist, you might expect to see at least two choices. Nope, just one. Finally, about 5 minutes later, one of the guys from the parking lot asks me if he can help me find something. I looked up from where I was kneeling on the floor (why they don’t put these at eye level, I don’t know … Do they think 3 year old kids are shopping for cable modems?) and told him that I had already found it.
Exasperated, I head towards the exit door and went back to Target to buy my cable modem. My prediction is that Circuit City will crumble over the next 12-18 months. Sell your Circuit City stock now.