Actions speak louder...

What companies say in press releases and what they actually do are two quite different things. Tech Trader's Eric Savitz noticed a Best Buy press release on store openings that made a big deal about the chain's staff.

The company's Blue Shirt employees are the core of Best Buy. As a people-powered organization, Best Buy invests heavily in discovering and training employees in customer service, product knowledge and financial acumen. As the store employees are closest to the customers, the company relies on them for their innovative ideas and feedback to enhance customers' shopping experiences. Whether an individual's passion is to be the best salesperson on the floor, a Geek Squad Agent, home theater installer or the next CEO, Best Buy fuels employees with the knowledge and resources to achieve their personal ambition.

That's what the company is saying. What the company is doing, at least according to AP, involves a reorganization that will result in 1,000 salaried assistant store managers being cut and 8,000 senior associates receiving pay cuts - essentially demoting them to regular sales associates. Savitz:

Hmm... this strategy seems so electronics retailer trying to save money by cutting pay for sales staff....hmmm....where have we seen that before... Well, the answer is the late, great Circuit City, which two years ago unveiled a plan to fire its highest paid sales staff, replacing them with new, lower cost workers. I could call and ask them about how it went, were it not for the fact that the company doesn't exist anymore.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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