Is Best Buy Really Finished?
I was just reading over the excellent (and long) story about Best Buy at Forbes and wondered, in light of today?s B&N announcement to pull the Nook financials out of their sinking brick-and-mortar business, whether stores like Best Buy and media giants like B&N need to exist at all.
First, before we begin, let?s talk the Forbes? article?s money shot:
But the numbers only scratch the surface. To discover the real reasons behind the company?s decline, just take this simple test. Walk into one of the company?s retail locations or shop online. And try, really try, not to lose your temper.
The writer, Larry Downes, clearly found a bum Best Buy in his travels, but recent Christmas kerfuffles in which Best Buy didn?t ship lots and lots of presents made the company look even worse. I personally haven?t been into a store in years although I do often pop into Office Depot and wander through their jaundiced electronics section.
First, is Best Buy really so bad?
Our own Chris Velazco, who worked at a Best Buy in New Jersey (and actually appeared in some BB commercials before we whisked him away), found his own experience there to be fun and rewarding ? if limiting. He admits that the pay wasn?t that great, but the company had some interesting benefits for full-time employees.
?Full timers got tuition assistance, that would?ve been nice as a part timer who worked there for five years,? he said. Matt Burns, who worked at Circuit City, described it as a veritable worker?s paradise. ?We had a couple guys in my store making more than $80,000. Surprisingly the Flint store was until the end one of the top stores in the region.?
I asked them what Best Buy can to to turn itself around.
?So you pay better, get real salesman instead of kids, and in turn provide a lot better experience to the shopper,? said Burns.
I bring these easy quotes in because first Downes really doesn?t ask anyone at Best Buy what they think about working there, which I suspect may be the root of his perce