(This was originally published on Herb Greenberg's Reality Check.)
"For those who care, my wife has been a lover of TCS for years. She notices a HUGE hit to attitude, service since IPO. Not in a good way."
-- A tweet I sent out on June 19
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Whenever a retailer with a good concept goes public, the challenge is to balance the need to feed the street with protecting what made it so special.
Between blaming the weather and now an overall "retail funk," that appears to be at least part of the story behind what's ailing The Container Store (TCS).
The company, of course, doesn't come out and say that. The Container Store is, based on its earnings call commentary, a culturally "gosh" and "over-the-moon delighted" kind of company. It's the epitome of rah-rah and, and if you go to glassdoor.com and read what employees say, the term "cult-like" comes up more than once.
But as a public company, The Container Store no longer has the luxury of opening stores when and where it wants -- or even keeping its lauded "culture," known as being among the best places to work, intact.
As a private company, it needed to keep its eye on cash flow. As a public company, it needs to show growth -- and lots of it.
And that's where things may currently be getting dicey.