Circuit City Files For Chapter 11 My Comments Reported in the WSJ

(Please Note: the best course of action is to take bold steps before have to file for Chapter 11 or worse a dissolution. I am experienced with crisis management, turnaround management and bankruptcy. Contact Me if you are worried about your business.)

Chapter 11 comes with a great cost including, legal, accounting and filing fees. The most significant cost is often the distraction of management’s attention from the core processes of the business. This filing raises more questions than it answers. The effectiveness of the company’s infrastructure in identifying and correcting the real reasons for losses should be under microscopic scrutiny.

Retail is won or lost one transaction at a time. It looks like Circuit City has a no profit pattern. It seems like this pattern is the core issue that should be resolved during this opportunity for reorganization. If not, the Chapter 11 reorganization will likely move to dissolution.

Ultimately, secured lenders will be fine. Vendors will be paid for new deliveries but are at great risk of not being paid in full for invoices related to deliveries prior to the filing. Landlords of closed locations can now begin to plan on what to do with that space as lease payments will be terminated during the Chapter 11 process. Other leases are likely to be renegotiated. Of course, there are large numbers of people who are now not working just as the holiday season is near for them and their families.

There is very little sunlight shining through with this picture. The glimmer of opportunity is for a structural reorganization to be defined and implemented that strengthens the core business. Should that occur, the purpose of Chapter 11 will have been fulfilled.

Steve Pohlit