Is Best Buy Doomed?

A few weeks ago while watching television I came across a special on CNBC, The Big Box Fights Back.  The program featured Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn and background information on the big box electronics retail giant Best Buy.  Best Buy has already outlived past big box giants Circuit City and CompUSA, however the end may be near for Best Buy.  I found the program to be very entertaining and informative.  The program pointed out that many consumers use Best Buy as a testing location before ordering the product online for a cheaper price.  General retail giants Target and Walmart are also stocking larger electronic sections, hurting Best Buy's bottom line. 

I have long been a fan of Best Buy, and I tend to make my major purchases there in regards to electronics.  As a matter of fact, in December I made a large purchase of a new television at the local Best Buy.  However, I can see why the big box store may soon become a thing of the past.  Honestly, my TV was a little cheaper via Amazon and Costco.  However, I choose Best Buy for a few reasons.  First, I'm still not sold on having a product like a TV shipped to the house.  Second, I do have a Best Buy Credit Card.  I like taking advantage of their reward points and financing offers.  I always pay off the balance of the purchase before the promotion expires, so the interest rate is not an issue.  I can see where Best Buy can be in trouble.  Those large stores carry almost too much product.  The only items I buy at Best Buy are home entertainment products (TV/DVD/Video Game Systems, etc.) or maybe digital cameras/video cameras.  I tend to buy all of my music and movies in digital form or via Amazon.  I purchase appliances at the large home stores (Lowes, Home Depot) and computers at the Apple Store.  

Will Best Buy Survive?


Just today, CNET posed the question "Is Best Buy following CompUSA , Circuit City to Certain Doom."  Sadly, it looks like Best Buy is heading for defeat.  I notice they are trying to stay alive by promoting their Geek Squad services and possibly opening smaller boutique type stores (think Apple Stores) to save money and better serve their customers.

Are you a Best Buy shopper?  Do you just use Best Buy to test out products, then return home to purchase online?  Will you even miss Best Buy if they disappear?


Comments

  1. You know, I think the only thing I get from Best Buy with regularity is printer ink. When your printer runs out of ink, you don't want to order it online and wait for it to ship: you want to go to a store and get more ink right away. Also, like you, we got our TV at Best Buy because it would make us nervous to ship a TV. I think I bought my printer there too. Oh, and last-minute Christmas presents when I haven't planned far enough ahead to buy them online.

    I hope this isn't the death knell for Best Buy. Southland mall will have an awful time filling that space. Maybe they just expanded beyond their capacity and need to contract a bit to even things out.

    Best,
    Meg

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    1. Hi Meg, thanks for the comment. I still run up there now and then. All I can think about is a lot of wasted space. I hope they can survive, but I think it will be tough. That would be a big vacancy up at Southland, that's for sure.

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  2. Good post, Mike. What a sad reality. Best Buy is like the last of the adult toy stores to me. Maybe they could streamline and make their store a little smaller for less overhead? A world that doesn't include a Black Friday sale at Best Buy is one I want no part of!
    Like you wrote, getting everything online is a mixed bag. Plus, what about getting to touch and see the product before you order it. There's something about a specialized store that I appreciate and that I'll miss.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Dave. I'm right with you. I love browsing Best Buy. There are just some things I don't want to order online. Like I said, maybe smaller, more focused stores will help Best Buy. I'm sure the news about their CEO this week will not help.

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