Circuit City to Cut More Than 3,500 Store and IT Jobs, Cut Wages

Circuit City isn’t just laying off workers. These days that would hardly make the news wires. They are doing something unusual. In my over 20 years of retail management I’ve never heard of a company pulling a stunt like this.

The electronics retailer, facing larger competitors and falling sales, said Wednesday that it would lay off about 3,400 store workers — immediately — and replace them with lower-paid new hires as soon as possible.The laid-off workers, about 8 percent of the company’s total work force, would get a severance package and a chance to reapply for their former jobs, at lower pay, after a 10-week delay, the company said.

This is a slap in the face to loyal workers who have held their jobs long enough to qualify for the higher wages offered by their employer. Which employees, other than those desperate to pay their bills, would be willing to do the same job for less pay? What sort of incentive does this offer new employees? How in the world does Circuit City expect to retain knowledgeable employees when they display this sort of shortsighted thinking?

I’m not one to call for a boycott. But I would urge everyone to put Circuit City last on their list of vendors when they go shopping for new electronics. A company that shows such blatant disregard for their own employees shouldn’t be expected to have any more consideration for their customers.

[tags]Circuit City, employment, loyalty, layoffs[/tags]