I walked into Office Max today which was right next to the now bankrupt Circuit City, and when I walked in I immediately noticed that it was like one of those independent gas stations that are purchased by foreign immigrants who do not have the training in maximizing their space for inventory and thus the isles are sparse, spread apart, inefficiently organized and more or less being underutilized.
It led me to believe like it's neighbor Office Max may be going through a bit of a difficult time during this recession and may not be too far behind in terms of bankruptcy. But as I was at the check out lane, I noticed something that was about to become as irrelevant as global warming;
Office Max's "community responsibility statement."
It was some gobbledygook about serving the community and working with non-profit charitable partners to blah blah blah and it reminded me of a rule I learned from one of the few experienced professors I had in college;
"Business should stick to business."
Understand that as an economic entity, like labor, like government, businesses have a purpose. Their purpose is to make a provide a service or good to the population at the cheapest price possible, all the while attempting to make a profit. Their purpose, despite the brainwashing 20 something business majors are told, is not to be everything to every one. It's not to be a charity. It's not to be a non-profit. It's not to be a savior. It's not to be a vehicle used for employment. It is to be an entity that makes it possible for humans to consume the services and products they need necessary for the sustainability and enhancement of their lives. It's based more or less on the simple economic concept of the division of labor. And now that Office Max has been mismanaged or perhaps tried to deviate from its sole purpose of being a business, this branch not only looks like it will be shut down, but will also now be unable to continue its "community service."
Sadly, and to the dismay of leftists who don't understand basic economics, the shutting down of this branch will have more costs than just the loss of charitable contributions to the "community." The closing of the branch now has resulted in the loss of jobs and now has given me and customers in the area and added inconvenience of having to drive further to find the same products.
Another company does this and even prides itself on the "community service" it does and that is Target. Target donates (I recall) 3% of its pretax profits to whatever charities, schools and other community causes in the local community its at
I stopped shopping at Target because I know they do this as a marketing ploy, tugging at the heart strings naive people who want to think they are doing "something for the community" while shopping at Target.
The sad truth is that as this recession clamps down and pressures margins, Target is going to have to rethink this faux-altruistic marketing ploy. Wal-Mart is not even immune to the effects of this economy and given people are going to have to cut back on spending, Target will have to make its goods and services cheap as possible, not only to remain competitive, but to survive.
Of course this will come at hoots and hollers as people who were loyal to Target because of this charity will complain they are no longer helping the community, but one should ask themselves whether Target serves the community more by all the jobs it provides and the products it sells and being a BUSINESS or by being a cute little faux charity.