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Housing Slump Hits Circuit City Firedogs

31 Mar, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Circuit City Stores Inc. March 31 said it was cutting and repositioning 67 employees from its 3,000-member Firedogs installation service.

The installation service, which specializes in home entertainment and computers, has reportedly generated more than $300 million in revenue since bowing as a counterpoint to Best Buy Co.'s Geek Squad.

The Richmond, Va.-based No. 2 consumer electronics retail chain cited the ongoing drop in home sales — including a 13% drop in new home sales February — for the staff reductions, according to a spokesperson.

Some affected Firedog staffers will be transferred from new construction to existing commercial accounts, including hotels, while others will receive severance.

Separately, the U.S. Supreme Court refused an appeal by Circuit City seeking to overturn lower court rulings in an overtime arbitration case.

The chain, whose CEO, Philip Schoonover, is under pressure to reverse mounting losses, made news last year when it cut 3,000 sales personnel in an effort to rehire them at lower wages.

Circuit City reports financial results April 9.

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