John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Circuit City Reschedules Black Friday for This Wednesday

Black Friday, the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season, will kick off far earlier than usual this year, thanks to Circuit City (CC). In the aftermath of a particularly nasty second-quarter loss and a 95 percent decline in share price, the long-suffering electronics retailer said today it is shuttering 155 of its stores across 12 U.S. markets and sacking 17 percent of its domestic workforce. At last count, Circuit City employed some 43,000 people. So the cuts could send some 7,300 workers to the unemployment office just in time for the holidays.

Awful, ugly news. That said, there is a silk purse to be made from this particular sow’s ear. Store closing sales begin on Wednesday, so this is an auspicious time for the employed to get a jump on the annual holiday consumer binge. Those who aren’t put off by this near-funereal assessment of the economy from Circuit City’s acting chief executive James A. Marcum.

“Since late September, unprecedented events have occurred in the financial and consumer markets causing macroeconomic trends to worsen sharply,” said Marcum. “The weakened environment has resulted in a slowdown of consumer spending, further impacting our business as well as the business of our vendors. The combination of these trends has strained severely our working capital and liquidity, and so we are making a number of difficult, but necessary, decisions to address the company’s financial situation as quickly as possible.”

Happy holidays, huh?

Circuit City shares are currently trading at around 38 cents.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald