Good Riddance

Way back in 1982, I bought my first VCR at Circuit City. It was a Sanyo Beta format machine, and it was my high school graduation present from my parents. That might have been the only Circuit City shopping experience I was ever relatively satisfied with.

Circuit City has for years topped my list of worst chain retailers in the US, beating out both Rite-Aid and Albertsons. How they managed to stave off liquidation as long as they did is a mystery to me. Circuit City did everything wrong. The sales staff were like vultures (until you needed them), their selection was poor, and even if you could find a product you wanted, the floor model would invariably be the only one in the entire store, and this didn’t just apply to items that were on sale.

Then, a few years ago, they made no secret of the fact that they were firing their highest paid and most knowledgeable workers, none of whom were earning many gold stars to begin with. That was pretty much the last straw. It seemed every time I walked out of a Circuit City, I was pissed off. I soon stopped walking in to begin with. I don’t even look at their flyers in the Sunday paper anymore; in fact, tossing them aside became something of an amusing little ritual for me.

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who had this reaction. Economic implications and sympathy for the workers who will lose their jobs aside, Circuit City’s meltdown couldn’t happen to a more deserving company.

Comments

Good Riddance — 5 Comments

  1. I hadn’t been in a circuit city for more years than I can remember – mainly because of the poor selection and crappy salespeople. Giving me a hard-sell while I’m just browsing is a quick way to lose me as a customer.

    When I read the first couple of lines of your post in my feed reader, I first thought this was going to be an elegy for the death of the laserdisc player or VCR (both of which have recently ceased to be manufactured)!

  2. I’m with you Circuit City. I think I bought something there once in the 1990s and have been into their stores maybe three times. I’ve geen to Mervyn’s about three times and never bought anything in that hell hole, usually running out the door as soon as I could. Bleh to Albertson’s too, and aren’t they owned by Mormons? Rite Aid is not great, but I’d rank them a notch above Walgreens.

  3. Actually, the Alberstons-Mormon connection is strictly urban legend. They’ve actually been owned by Supervalu, a publicly-traded food distributor from Minnesota for several years now, but before that they were a separate public corporation based in Boise. Granted, the original founder may have been Mormon (I’m not sure), and a number of their stockholders may have been as well (not sure abut that, either).

    That said, they still ran lousy stores. As does Rite-Aid. I’d drive past twelve Rite-Aids to get to a Walgreens or even a CVS. But that’s a subjective thing, I guess.

  4. Thanks for setting me straight on Albertsons. It always mystified me that they sold booze and coffee if they were Mormon owned. I really don’t care for any of the mega-chain “drug stores”. I guess I’ve always preferred Rite Aid over Walgreens because they carry a number of products that I never find at Walgreens and also carry random, weird stuff that appeals to me. Duane-Read and others in the East are different but not really any better. It seems they are all trying to be mini-Wal-Marts and don’t do well at much of anything these days. Oregon does seem to have a few decent independents.