DHL, Circuit City workers may have seen layoffs coming

As Circuit City seeks bankruptcy protection, and DHL U.S. Express announced plans to lay off 9,500 workers, I can't help but think back to decisions the companies made six months to a year ago that foreshadowed these moves Monday. For Circuit City, it was laying off workers that I think helped lead it to bankruptcy, and for DHL it was a merger that eventually led to jobs being lost. Either way, workers were harshly affected.

Circuit City has had its share of poor decisions over the years, but at least customers knew when walking in that it had some of the most knowledgeable sales people in the industry who were willing to help. I don't know much about electronics, but after going into a Circuit City store, I knew a lot more and could make an informed decision.

But a year ago, the company laid off thousands of its experienced salespeople. Sure, it saved money with fewer workers and the cheaper employees who remained, but it easily looked like a dumb move at the time by anyone who had done business there.