RIP Circuit City and may we learn from some of your mistakes

Published January 17, 2009 4:27 pm by Scott LoSasso


I don’t like to see any business fail – especially one that has survived for so long, but after a recent shopping experience at Circuit City, it is no surprise to me that Circuit City went down with a thud. I recently bought a laptop there and after a quick decision, the guy helping me walked over to a counter and took my credit card and rung me up. At that moment I was thinking, “That’s nice, he can ring me up and get me out of here quickly.” So then he hands me my receipt and tells me to go the Merchandise Pick-up at the front of the store. I trudge up to the front of the store to find a line of people under a sign that reads “Returns, Repairs, Customer Service and Pick-up.” This is not a joke. They were placing a brand new, satisfied customer in a line full of disgruntled people needing service and repairs. This is an absurd decision that was made by someone with considerable authority within their executive ranks. It is also an indication that they had taken their eye off of the most important ball of all, customer satisfaction.  It took me twenty five minutes to finally reach the counter. I got the machine and left, cursing the brand and swearing that I would never shop there again.

This surely wasn’t the only circumstance that lead to their demise, but it can be a reminder to the rest of us that sometimes good marketing is just plain old common sense. Put youself in the shoes of your customer and you won’t make a mistake like this one.

Scott LoSasso is President of LoSasso Advertising Inc., a Chicago based interactive agency specializing in content marketing strategies and customer acquisition for leading B2B and consumer brands. (See more posts by Scott)