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Business Consulting For The 21st Century Via A Holistic & Intelligent Approach

Forbes say the end is near for Best Buy

Answered => “Will Best Buy go out of business?” on Quora.

=> My answer…

My thoughts on the article:

– While that holiday snafu was obviously a snafu, it’s hard to slay a dragon for hiring the wrong PR person/agency. Devoting a whole page out of a five page article seemed excessive to me. Certainly there are larger holes in the bottom of the ship.

– On the other hand (and only mentioned in passing) was the purchase and eventual resale of Napster. I don’t recall the exact figure Best Buy paid for Napster (and don’t feel like searching for it at the moment) but I do recall thinking, “WTF?!? Top dollar for a dead brand?!!? Idiots!” There was/is no doubt in my mind Best Buy overpaid. Big Time! This is more of bad sign than the poorly written press release.

– The article is right, the in-store experience of Best Buy is average (at best). That said, it is what it’s meant to be: middle America sprawling suburban shop-topia. As Paul Weller once said, “The public wants what the public gets.” Perhaps tastes are changing? If so, then Best Buy isn’t the only “big box” outfit that’s in trouble, yes?

Bottom line…Is the Best Buy model totally broken? I don’t think so. Having a physical presence can be an asset if that asset is used creatively and wisely to maximize The Guest Experience. The internet might offer consumers a choice but it should also be inspiring too. Unfortunately, creativity is not the strong suit of Best Buy’s current C-Level team. Best Buy has time, but as it is the article makes a strong case for the trend being in the wrong direction.

I’d like to add that I think price as being the sole motivating factor for most purchases is a myth. People will pay extra *if* The Experience lives up to the price point. Look at Disneyland. People travel for miles – passing who knows how many Six Flags properties – and then pay top dollar for Mickey. There are other ways for Best Buy to compete. But again, that’s not really the mindset of your average CE executive.

My conclusion? At this point there’s enough retail carnage that BB should be able to make the necessary adjustments. The shareholders should be leading the push for that effort(s). However, if you hear BB is buying Blockbuster then don’t hold me to this.

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