The Industry Reaches Out
I am hard-pressed this month to write a column that doesn't mention the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina; it wouldn't feel right to ignore it. But I don't want to start waxing philosophical with a shoddy perspective because, frankly, like most Americans, I find it difficult to relate to the situation because I have no comparable experience. The magnitude of this disaster is just too great.
However, what I can comment on is how impressed I am with our industry's response. Certainly, many CE businesses were affected. Our Editor at Large, Janet Pinkerton, found that 15 of Best Buy's locations were damaged, as were 11 Circuit City stores, 12 REX Stores, a dozen members of the MEGA Group, four Cowboy Maloney's/Electric City locations and nearly 100 Radio Shack stores, five of which were destroyed. I'm sure there are many more.
And despite all of this, many in the industry reacted swiftly to help where they could. The MEGA Group set up a donation network, to which member companies could make individual donations to the Salvation Army or the Red Cross through the group. MEGA will match whatever amount is generated. Best Buy is taking Red Cross donations at its cash registers—no purchase necessary—and will match collected donations up to $1 million.