It feels like forever ago that Circuit City bit the dust. Everything seemed to be humming along just fine, and suddenly, the wheels feel off. That left Best Buy, its main rival, in great shape. Suddenly, the world was its oyster. There really was no competition. But that's the issue: just because there was no issue on the retail front, online e-tailers began to eat away at Best Buy's share of the market. Over the past few years, Best Buy's growth has halted, and it has been forced to close a number of stores as sales slump. And things don't seem to be getting any better.
Now, founding Richard Schulze -- the man who has previously proposed that Best Buy return to being a private company -- has a new public plan for reshaping his baby. Best Buy needs to be reconsidered if it is to adequately compete with Amazon, and the plan involves mimicking that very company. Basically, he wants to slash prices to align with those on Amazon, while also providing in-store customer service on a level associated with Apple Retail stores. That's no small feat. Best Buy would likely resort to razor thin margins if it slashes prices to meet Amazon's level (after all, Best Buy would still have to pay infrastructure costs that Amazon doesn't have), and a new training program would likely need to be put into place to get those employees up to speed on his new service goals.
Will Best Buy go private? Will it soon be the Amazon of B&M? Will it return to its former glory? Something tells us 2013 will be a make or break year in a lot of ways.