CW Electronics started as a family run radio shack (using the generic term). It held onto this market until the end but along the way picked up consumer electronics and then SOHO computers.
I joined the company just after it went public. Capone still had a hand in but Whitaker had moved on to other businesses.
At this time the company still had the old "The difficult we can do now. The impossible might take a little longer." attitude. We actually had someone in charge of this. OJ Jennings.
Two cases I remember. A radio station in Alaska called. A storm had destroyed their broadcast mast and antenna. We had a new setup on a plane from the factories in less than 24 hours.
Antarctic Support called from an airport in South America. A pallet of electronics was damaged by ground handling. they needed x, y, z. They had to take off for Antarctica before the weather closed the runway down there. The window was measured in hours. We had replacements on a chartered Learjet on the way that day.
Oh, we passed on the costs but can you imagine that kind of thing happening today?
Actually, as the newly created parent company (CWE) took over this sort of thing went by the wayside. "Don't take risks. What will the shareholders say?" became the byword. The new customers didn't walk through the front door, they bought stock. That's who we catered to now.
Business dropped off a bit. CWE bought up some failing stores and created a chain of computer repair storefronts similar to but predating Best Buy's stand alone Geek Squad locations. The only location that took money in was the original store.
Then some clever fellows got hired as GM and Assistant Manager of the original 8th and Lincoln CW Electronics store. They hatched a plan to buy the store. They were in a good position to drive the price down to what they wanted to pay. CW Electronics started loosing money.
Now CWE had no income from any of their stores. When the boys took their proposed buy out to CWE they were instantly unemployed. One of CWE's Officers came into the store to run things. It was too late.
At 3:00 PM on Friday, December 18, 1995 the acting GM handed me the keys to the front door and told me to lock up (My first job at the store had been Store Security).
The employee meeting was brief. We had one half hour to get our personal things and leave before the bank officials arrived with the Sheriff.
Back to Resume
Funny story, sad too.
As I was locking the door a woman came running up carrying a laser printer. There was no such thing as a small laser printer in those days.
She told me she HAD to get in. She needed this printer fixed right away.
I explained that we weren't just closing for the day or weekend. We were going out of business right then.
"No! You don't understand!" she pleaded. "I have to get this fixed right away!"
"No. You don't understand." I told her. "There is no one here to work on your printer. We just went out of business."
This went around a few times and then she told me sarcastically that she hoped I was happy. I had ruined her weekend (I was becoming unemployed a week before Christmas while listening politely to this) and she was going to tell everyone she knew never to do business with us again.
I wonder if she ever figured it out.
Back to Resume