1,300 staff lost their jobs, millions in losses -your typical British store abroad
PC City closed its doors in Spain. These stores, an exact copy of PC World in the UK, were so mismanaged that the last day one opened its doors for the first time, then half an hour later closed them for good.
A list of the English practices (*) of this business taken and translated from a blog by a disgruntled worker who just lost his job there.
☼ All staff had to carry a plastic bracelet with the mawkish words «Pasión, preparación, profesionalidad» on it.
☼ Every day on going home all staff were checked with an electronic gadget to make sure they had not stolen anything.
☼ Everything in English. Even the calendar week started on Sunday and just in case you think that’s normal, it is not right in a (mostly) Catholic country, where the week ends in the Day of the Lord, on Sunday, and anyway it is against our traditions, showing that the managers cared nothing for them. Of course the names of the rooms «Staff», etc were labeled in English.
Insensitive and not right.
PC City/pc world paid millions of euros for an absurd sociological study on customer psychology; the end result of that was to put pressure on the customer to buy insurance for the products they bought.
There was a constant pressure on the customer with intrusive questions and a posse of salesmen falling on them to sell them all kind of services.
Spaniards do not like that kind of behaviour by salesmen and people went away very upset by this.
The staff knew that and tried not to press too hard on the customers, with the result that the managers criticized them for not selling enough insurance.
☼ It was forbidden to say «yes» or «good», they had to assent with long enthusiastic expressions like «magnificent!», «marvellous!», «genial!», «stupendous!» and the like.
On a related note once on a British bank where I went to open a Savings Accountt where I put regular, very modest quantities every month, the employee every time I told him simple things like my name, or local address complied with words like
– that’s brilliant !
– quite good !
When he wrote something down he looked at his own handiwork and exulted
– this is wonderful !
He’s not working at the bank anymore, probably from nervous exhaustion or something.
☼ PC City charged you 60 euros to install free open licence software like Open Office or audio codecs
☼ England is now a country of snitches and spies, so in the stores they had every week the visit of a Mistery Shopper who took careful note of everything the salesmen said and gave them points according to how well they carried out the robotic instructions of the management.
☼ Because of the incompetence of the management, quite fond of selling old products at a higher price that new, most PC City stores lost money.
We’ll see how long they stay open in the UK because over here they make the same and worse mistakes. Although they are not mistakes from the point of view of the top three or four people who’d walked away with their pockets full of unearned money.
The news didn’t pass unnoticed in the UK, and the Financial Times said this
…Retail, the owner of the Currys and PC World brands, will close its 34 loss-making stores in Spain, axing as many as 1,200 jobs. The…of the stores, which trade under the PC City brand and will result in Dixons taking…s UK dual-format stores Currys and PC World, which offer a broader scope of household…can not develop the dual-brand strategy in Spain at a time when there are other calls..
David Jeary, a retail analyst at Investec, said of the move: “This was not totally unexpected. It’s a positive insofar as it has removed about £5m from the profit and loss account and will allow Dixons to focus on its profitable areas. It’s not the first territory that Dixons have exited under John Browett [chief executive] and it remains to be seen if it will be the last.”
Shares in Dixons rose 1.02p to close at 13.18p.
(*) English practices. The British, always slagging off other countries to hide the shortcomings of their own society, are fond of using the expression Spanish practices to criticize what they do in spades themselves.
PARA SABER MÁS