In our District, each store is held accountable on making our daily sales goal. If we make our day.. good. If not, The Manager has to email our DM explaining what we did wrong for not making our sales quota for the day and what we are going to do differently tomorrow.
We didn't make our day today. However, I didn't write the email.
However, If I had wrote the email and could say the truth it would have went something like this:
The main reason we didn't make our day today is because we had less costumers come in than this time last year. I attest that to the fact that corporate has decided to cut advertising drastically, which had in turn lowered foot traffic. Our ticket count was down over 30 tickets than this time last year, which means that we had at least 30 less customers come in. If corporate had not been so concerned about saving money by cutting the advertising cost people might actually be interested in coming into my store. Sure, saving the money has increased profit which in turn rose the stock price and helped Mr. Julian Day get his stock option bonus. But, that does nothing to help me at the store level.
I also attest the drop in customers to the fact that our main customer base is over the age of 70, and lets face it- there are more and more are dying every year, thus dropping our customer base. Perhaps if RadioShack were more hip and sold more cutting edge products, we might attract younger people into our store. But instead, our store is stuck in the 80's and looks like it is straight out of the movie "Short Circuit". Johnny 5 would be proud that we have not had a face lift in over 20 years and our employees still wear button up shirts and khakis.
We would have made our day if we had sold more cell phones, the problem is, all we had to sell for Cingular were 3 Motorola Razr's and a Blackjack. I had 2 customers come in ready to upgrade their cell phones with Cingular, however they both had Razr's and wanted to try something different. Neither wanted a Blackjack and to be honest it didn't fit their needs. I tried selling them phones with our wireless direct service, and even offered to go to another Radioshack to pick them up different phones, but the couple told me that they will just go down the street to the Cingular store where they have a wide selection of the coolest new phones.
We may have made our day had our prices been more competitive. I had a customer come in for a set of RCA cables, he complained that our prices were just way too high. He told me that he saw basically the same cables over at wal-mart for almost half the price. I tried to explain to him that ours were superior cables and they were gold tipped-thus giving him better conductivity and would last a lot longer. He responded with "I am hooking up a 10 year old VCR what the heck do I need gold tipped RCA cables for?".
In order to make our day tomorrow, I suggest we fire Julian Day. He has depleted my store inventory, cut my pay, and forced me to send employees home thus leaving the store short staffed. Since he has taken over this company, our prices have been raised to a level that we are no longer competitive, the quality of our products have dropped, our customer service department has been pawned off to us at the store, and normal store upkeep (window cleaning, carpet shampooing exc) have been out of the question. I also suggest that Radioshack as a whole takes a good long look in the mirror. All Tenured managers are leaving and it is getting harder to keep knowledgeable sales associates around as you can no longer live off the money you make here. The one asset this company does have is good employees, but because corporate has cut our pay and the crap we have to go through is getting ridiculous most of these people are leaving.
So don't blame me that we didn't make our day. I am doing everything possible given what I have to work with.
I worked for Julian as a Vice President with K mart - he did the same thing there under the guidance of Eddie Lampert - he made almost 200 million on his stock options - he does not care about employees or mgmt
I went to Radio Shack tonight to get something. Talked a little with the the lady that waited on me about the declining morale at Radio Shack and my fond memories when it was a hub for those wanting in on the new age of electronics.
So, I decided to write a report on my website. www.tigersoft.com I just finished it and came back to this site to see if there was anything I had missed.
When I found your write-up I realized it fit in exactly with what I had already written. So I inserted a few passages from your post in my piece. I hope you don't mind.
Here is what I wrote:
As for selling short, I hate to do that. I dislike picking on companies I like and hurting their employees. But I do show our TigerSoft chart of RSH there and
its automatic Buys and Sells are very profitable.
Quote away. I'm now free from the slow death known as RSH. I've moved on to a job that apreciates me and pays me what I am worth. Hell, I'm making more than double what RSH was paying me and I'm working 20 hours less a week. Their loss.
"If that were true, R$ corporate would be opening new stores, not closing them! The number of DF's in the last 4 years has gone from 1500 to 2200, whereas the number of corporate stores has shrunk from over 5000 to 4200. Why do you think that is? Could it be that the corporate store side of the business is not doing as well?"I think you have your numbers back wards.A quick check over RS public records will show that the dealers stores have DROPPED from about 2200 to around 1500 to date.Regardless if RS makes more from dealers or not the facts are that dealer stores are declining at an alarming rate.IMO RS is having a hard time retaining existing dealers and finding new individuals with the resources interested in evan opening up a new store.They have now gone after multi store outlets like duckwall alco to boost dealer numbers.Without opening those type stores the dealer numbers would be failing evan faster.It takes longer for bigger companys like duckwall to figure out they are loseing money on a venture like a RS dealership than it does for an individual owner to do it.When those ventures start to fail,and they will,its unlikely RS will have made any plans to help retain the rest of the dealer base.Store numbers are just plain going to continue to fall.
"Rs makes a higher percentage selling goods through Co. owned outlets rather than through dealer stores.The costs involved maintaining stores vers just selling to dealers is higher I'm sure.If it was more profitable to maintain dealers I would imagine that there should be more dealers than co. owned outlets by now."If that were true, R$ corporate would be opening new stores, not closing them! The number of DF's in the last 4 years has gone from 1500 to 2200, whereas the number of corporate stores has shrunk from over 5000 to 4200. Why do you think that is? Could it be that the corporate store side of the business is not doing as well?Think about it!
"Fresh meat with $K in the bank? They aren't that plentiful, pal! Do you work for a DF? You sound like you don't know your tookis from first base!"Never said anything about cash in the bank.Having the ability to get loans and have good credit is however something that RS considers when picking potential dealers. "R$ may be moving more toward the DF side of the business, because they make more money for the company! McDonalds is 98% franchise!"Rs makes a higher percentage selling goods through Co. owned outlets rather than through dealer stores.The costs involved maintaining stores vers just selling to dealers is higher I'm sure.If it was more profitable to maintain dealers I would imagine that there should be more dealers than co. owned outlets by now. "DF's have more control over their business, but they are not all good business people. Keeping a clean store and watching payroll are the 2 most important things a DF can do to make money! You still need to have a staff that knows how to give good customer service, however!" True however RS has been working hard at removing that control regardless if someone is a good or bad business owner.They don't want intelligent forward thinking,business minded store owners.They want managers they can boss around that don't question their bad programs and plans.Things a business owner knows will affect his bottom line and would normally avoid doing they want done evan if its puts them out of business.Keeping a clean store is a given.Watching expenses is a must do for any business.How you make money in a DF is watching your bottom line.If there are to many give away programs and to low profit margins on sales you cant make money no matter how clean your store is or how hard you watch what you pay your employees.Not maintaining a healthy bottom line will put you out of business just as fast as filthy floors and clueless clerks. "If your DF DM is complaining about store appearance, then he/she is expressing concern about company image, which the DF must maintain as part of the agreement!"I believe the original poster was stating moreover that no matter what you do it will not be good enough for the class of DM they have overseeing the dealer division.I agree.Its that type of person they want in that position its also the type of person they have hired into that position.You could have just vacuumed the floor and the first person at the counter to pay drops some pocket lint in the floor.If the DM walks in next and sees that lint his comment will be hey you have lint on your floor not hey I see you are keeping the store vacuumed.Leading by negative reinforcement is not the best way to boost moral and inspire loyalty. Dealers are customers of the company much like the customers that come through the doors in many ways.Treat your customers bad and they buy somewhere else.Treat your dealers bad....
Fresh meat with $70k in the bank? They aren't that plentiful, pal! Do you work for a DF? You sound like you don't know your tookis from first base!
R$ may be moving more toward the DF side of the business, because they make more money for the company! McDonalds is 98% franchise!
DF's have more control over their business, but they are not all good business people. Keeping a clean store and watching payroll are the 2 most important things a DF can do to make money! You still need to have a staff that knows how to give good customer service, however!
If your DF DM is complaining about store appearance, then he/she is expressing concern about company image, which the DF must maintain as part of the agreement!
To all the posters that were and are shackers. I was a shacker for 20 yrs, but saw the bad times coming and got out. I was in the service division but worked closely with the store managers I served. I have read most of the threads here and see the same stuff (if not worse) going on. The shame is the Shack had the name, they had the recognition in the day and they let it go. I'm sorry to see it in the shape it is today. One big mistake was getting into too much name brand stuff, you can't compete against the discount chains with the same product.
I agree, I'm sorry too. BTW, turning The Shack into pretty much just another cell phone store, and refusing to look beyond wireless for growth... These are the Len Roberts/Dave Edmonston legacy.
• The company recently announced a change in the bonus plan for managers in 2008. After looking at the numbers, I have decided that this new plan will not be good for most managers. In fact, had this plan been in effect in 2007, MY bonus would have been reduced by over $600.
• I was ready to leave last year, but decided to give our new CEO a chance to change the structure of the company. I was hopeful that the company management would get away from “micro-managing” from the top. While Julian Day has reduced the layers of management, he has failed to change the culture. Managers in this company are still just glorified sales associates, not the entrepreneurs that I was led to believe they should be.
Maybe that will change in 2008, maybe not. I have lost patience with all management above the DM level.
• You fired a male manager because he worked on the day that the deposit was lost, and he could have made it. Yet the same exact circumstances occurred with a female manager, and she was not fired. She was the manager of record at both stores, and worked at both, so she should have made BOTH deposits, using the same rationale. She also falsified company documents during the takeover inventory, yet she was not terminated for that either. This seems to show a double standard.
• Radioshack launched gaming as a new product line for GQ. We were supposed to get the Nintendo WII. Thinking that I would be able to sell these, I took a waiting list. I was unable to help my customers get this item, yet several got them at TARGET! A similar set of circumstances happened 2 years ago, but with the XBox360 bundle.
• This points to a broader issue, in that I cannot control what inventory I can sell. ESS was launched as something great for managers, but it has so many restrictions, in the way, I find it useless in helping me get products that I believe I can sell.
• Twice during GQ my store ran out of 273.1337 IGO car charger cords, even though these were available in the D2U warehouse. These are an impulse purchase! Nobody wants to wait! Julian Day promised to fix supply issues like this, but hasn’t.
• You called yourself providing accommodation for me last summer when I explained that I had a spouse health issue with which to deal. Your accommodation in fact did nothing to help. I was scheduled just as many hours as before. As a result, my wife and I decided to postpone treatment. I am finding myself increasingly having to decide between my wife’s happiness and health and my job.
• During our recent chat you said that I am definitely one of the best managers in the district, and that I should be able to work a 48 - 51 hour workweek during the first 3 quarters of 2008. I took this to mean that my minimum workweek in WorkBrain will be 48 hours. If I have the skills to run a “million dollar” store successfully, as I did during 2007, I believe that this minimum could be lower. Workbrain only deals with sales. There are at least 4 - 6 hours per week that I typically spend on store issues not accounted for in WB. Expecting me to do these tasks as part of WB's schedule is simply not practical, but this appears to be all that you can offer. This is unacceptable to me.
• It is unacceptable to me to require exempt managers to clock in and out in WB, since they don't get overtime. Criticizing me for simply putting my hours in, rather than punching a time clock in front of all managers in the district in October was embarrassing to me. Since I was successful this past year, it should be obvious that I put in my hours.
• It is difficult to have a normal life as a Radioshack Store Manager. I am a ham radio operator. I like to do volunteer work for the Red Cross. My ham station at home has been disheveled since I became a manager. I have not been able to participate in any ham-related activities because of the demands placed on me by Radioshack.
• Julian Day was hired to 'turnaround' the Company. I can think of nothing that he has done that has had a positive impact at the store level for me.
Here is the letter I gave my DM when I quit (some names have been removed to protect the innocent):
This letter is to convey my desire to leave Radioshack. I am hereby giving you notice that I intend to sever my employment no later than two weeks from today.
My reasons for leaving are many, and I will attempt to convey the most important ones below.
The main one, however, is my desire to have more of a family life with my wife. Having been married to her for almost 35 years, she comes first in my life. She has expressed her desire that we have dinner together every night. Our children are both on their own, and she does not like to eat dinner alone.
It has become less and less enjoyable to work for Radioshack as a store manager. I have stated to you several times that I have worked for Radioshack because I enjoyed what I did. I am not motivated by the pay or contests. The company seems to be so focused on wireless sales, contests, wireless weekends, and such that I no longer feel a part of the whole, even though my store generates a great deal of PROFIT for the Company.
There were two recent events that seemed to have had an important influence on my decision:
The first was your visit on Friday with our new LP manager. At the visit, my integrity and trust seemed to be questioned by his question about whether I was partners with a former manager in his Radioshack franchise store. Questioning my integrity so bluntly was offensive.
I have always understood that it is a clear conflict of interest for a corporate store manager to engage in a competing business such as this, and I resent the fact that the question was even asked. I have been friends with this person for many years, and the fact that he is no longer a corporate store manager will not change that.
The second occurred Saturday. While the store had a great sales day, I nearly missed a very important college basketball game that I had planned to attend with my daughter, who had come home for the weekend. I was scheduled to leave by 5 PM, but because of customer flow, I was unable to leave until nearly 7. Most home games start at 7:00 PM, but fortunately, this was a ESPN game of the week, and started at 9 PM. My daughter was very disappointed that we could not arrive early enough to participate in the pre-game activities.
There are several other reasons for my leaving:
• The company trusts a manager with the keys to a “million dollar” store. The payplan was modified to make the bonus based on profit. Yet the upper management recently required that managers get permission to order cleaning supplies, or make any other petty cash payout. This seems to fly in the face of our Core Value 'Trust'.
• When it became obvious that X was leaving, you and I discussed your giving me your proxy to help you monitor WorkBrain compliance. You never made this happen.
• Your calendar showed that managers are supposed to work from the 21st through the 31st of December. With my scheduled day off in week 51, that means I was required to work 14 days straight with my only day off being the Holiday, Christmas Day! I am 59 years old. This kind of pace is ridiculous and gives me zero family life! I would be surprised if other retailers had similar requirements of its managers.
• Conference calls are, for the most part, a waste of time. I get very little from them that help me be a better manager or make more money. They seem to be more of a “pep rally”, than anything else. A pep rally has never, in my lifetime, caused ANYONE to be a winner. Any manager can see who had a “good day” or “good weekend” simply by looking at the Sales and Profit Report on ANSO.