Best Buy struggles with global ambitions

  • Article by: THOMAS LEE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 5, 2011 - 8:31 AM

CEO defends long-term international strategy but says businesses are constantly reviewed.

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hockeyfoxOct. 2, 1111:27 AM

That is interesting. They have moved a ton of jobs overseas seeking lower wages for their employees, yet those employees still can not afford to shop at Best Buy. Go figure.

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DacotaOct. 5, 11 9:17 AM

I will go without whatever I'm looking to buy before ever entering a Best Buy store ever again. Their employees flat out lie to you, their customer service is worse than WalMart (and that's REALLY bad) and the attitude of the employees is such that they give you the impression they're doing you a favor by helping you. Worst company around!!!

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lothlornOct. 5, 11 9:38 AM

I bought my last TV from Walmart as it had a better model at a better price. What else does Best Buy sell other then I phones? I think Best Buy will go the same way as PC games. Every time I go in Best Buy there are no PC games I want to buy anymore. Most of the products Best Buy sells are now lower in price then before but also low in profit. Best part is Walmart is gaining on them.

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Marky23Oct. 5, 1111:30 AM

It's interesting to me, I understood that bog box grocery stores have been hugely successful throughout Latin America, that buying habits adjusted because of the convenience... is the difference cultural? A difference between need (food) and want (electronics)?

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thenningOct. 5, 1111:48 AM

Best Buy is in a bit of tricky spot. Software, movies, music and even games are all moving to a download paradigm. Hardware (TVs, computers, phones, etc) can all be purchased at a lower price at on-line retailers that don't have the overhead of brick and mortar stores. That leaves appliances. Not exactly exciting or glamorous. The one advantage Best Buy could use is customer service. But right now the CS culture at Best Buy is severely lacking. I happened to stop by a store last night looking at e-readers (wanted to see the screen in person). I was getting the hard sell from a 17 year old who knew less about the products than I did. Nothing against 17 y/o, they have to work too, but being very in my face and telling me incorrect info about the products is not what I want. The floor agents need to do a better job of respecting customers and their time. Normally I could write this off as a one-off scenario, but unfortunately I've experienced this kind of customer service on numerous occasions at different Best Buy stores.

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evenmorejustOct. 5, 1112:33 PM

They wanted bigger stores now they are trying to scale back to smaller stores??? Does not sound like good management! Look at their Maplewood location...a new big box next door to their old smaller store...which they have designated as the model for the future???

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audiophileguyOct. 5, 11 5:13 PM

I have worked in the consumer electronics industry for over 35 years, and seen many publicly-held big box retailers come and go. The story is always the same: growth in stock value comes from expansion into new markets and new locations. Stock rises as locations expand, which increases gross sales for the organization. At some point, there are simply no more places to open new stores, and the revenue estimates have to rely on increased same-store sales to create any increase in gross sales and consequential stock valuation. For a while, same-store sales increase, until they reach the natural limit of each market. Subsequently, the sales flatten out and shareholders begin to worry. Finally, the entire chain finds that no further growth is possible, and the organization dies a frequently painful death. This has been true of every single big box consumer electronics retailer over the past 50 years. I give Best Buy kudos for lasting longer than most other similar organizations and growing larger than any prior example, but in fact Best Buy has reached a point that each of the others has reached before. The path (if not scope or size) for quite a few of these big box consumer electronics stores has been almost identical, and Best Buy is now in the stage where shareholders must painfully recognize that no more real growth is possible within the model Best Buy has chosen. There is nothing really new in the world. History and analysis of other big-box consumer electronics retail organizations provide quite a bit of data to help understand what is most likely to happen to Best Buy over the next few years.

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