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.