Best Buy Founder Suggests Amazon-Like Pricing, Apple-Like Service To Revive Company

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News Posted: Sat, Aug 11 2012 10:32 AM
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.
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Inspector replied on Sat, Aug 11 2012 11:05 AM

They are going to need a ton of training if they want those current employees to meet my standards. They are all useless in the store walking around.

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Diggity0 replied on Sat, Aug 11 2012 12:59 PM

Best Buy is largely irrelevant these days. I only go there if I need something quick and can't wait for it to be shipped to me. Even then their lack of selection and their terrible staff usually leave me walking away disappointed .

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Erakith replied on Sat, Aug 11 2012 1:59 PM

Without a complete business overhaul as well as making working for Best Buy an attractive proposition, this is a pipedream.

Best Buy's customer service is virtually non-existent, and the shopping experience is often disappointing.

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pwrntspd replied on Sat, Aug 11 2012 3:03 PM

I agree with all three of you, my only hope is that best buy is successful in changing the company. The convenience of being able to go to a major chain to buy electronics at a reasonable price from people with reasonable knowledge is something i havent seen before. As it stands right now im not sure i believe its possible but i hope it happens. If it doesnt, well i guess that just leaves Frys and Microcenter for me...

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3vi1 replied on Sat, Aug 11 2012 6:12 PM

I used to think the same thing, Inspector. But, I've found a few gems in the rough that were working there yet wanted to learn once they realized you could teach them about what they're selling. Don't judge the employee by the company... just bust out laughing and call him out if he tells a lie to sell an expensive product to a grandmother that doesn't know better.

Personally, I would go to Fry's if I wanted a real selection of items.

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karanm replied on Sat, Aug 11 2012 6:33 PM

I stopped going to best buy simply because I would spend way too much time in there answering questions that other shoppers had that the employees couldn't answer. The only reason I knew the info was because I did my research before and walked into the store knowing exactly what I wanted to buy, not because I was smarter or cared more. Its just the way I shop, I do my research online, pick out what I want to get and then find the best price for it. Most people don't shop that way and are thus at the mercy of the sales staff who a lot of times are seasonal employees that are best at stocking the shelf.

However I have to say 3vi1 is right, once or twice I found myself teaching an employee because he didn't know and asked me questions in order to do his job better. Although refreshing it still wasted my time which I didn't appreciate. Getting better trained employees is crucial for proper customer service, there is nothing worse than not being able to answer a question that you as an employee are paid to know. I don't know if Best Buy has the cash for all the training and if they'll be able to pull it off especially after lowering prices. I hope they are able to survive just for the sole purpose of providing competition.

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Inspector replied on Sat, Aug 11 2012 6:38 PM

That may be, i how ever have never meet one lol. Maybe its just my luck to meet all the bad ones. Their customer service is also just... they aren't there to help you, but to help the company keep their money -.-, or they just lazy to help you. My cousin brought a PS3 and when he got home it was cracked on one corner so we went back to swap it, they how ever won't (Saying we dropped it our self) till we started a commotion and the manager came out and swapped it. Then there was a case where my teacher went in looking to swap something (i can't remember what it was) and they asked her to leave the receipt behind and they will handle it... Of course my teacher didn't because once you give it to them, i doubt they would help you and you no longer have proof you brought the product. The rep called her rude and started yelling at her... There may be like 1 out of 10 best buy employee that is smart :)

END OF RANT xD

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Inspector replied on Sat, Aug 11 2012 6:43 PM

Same here karanm, its always important to do your research before buying anything. I never walk in to Best Buy not knowing what i want so i don't have to have one of them annoying sales rep come over and tell me false info. I only shop there when i need something that day and can't wait for it to ship from an online retailer.

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RTietjens replied on Sat, Aug 11 2012 8:11 PM

The purpose of Best Buy is to showcase hardware so that you can fiddle with it before you buy it online from someone with better prices and better customer service.

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3vi1 replied on Sat, Aug 11 2012 8:13 PM

>> Maybe its just my luck to meet all the bad ones.

No, I think that's the law of averages. I met many many bad reps... and used to share the same all-encompassing "bad vibe" for them that you have. I just lucked out to meet a couple of employees over the years that aren't as evil as their parent corporation.

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Pricing and more importantly inventories. More computer hardware like frys and micro center. Its a tough economy and it will only get tougher so one should take the initiative to be competetive. Its a start but a good one. Choose me for the corsair contest. Love corsair love hothardware

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rapid1 replied on Sat, Aug 11 2012 11:03 PM

The thing that gets me is this if I go to Fry's they match or beat web prices. If I go to Walmart with a valid add from anywhere they match or beat the price. I checked out BB last time I needed something within a few hours as there closest. They said they match or beat they even had what I needed in stock at the store down the street. I got there to pick it up and it took me 10 minutes to find devices like it, then 5 minutes to find someone in the dept to get it or inquire about it because they had it in stock on the web. When I found them they did not know what I was talking about or its location and had to get someone else which took 10 minutes. Then they had to look for it but did not have any in stock and I said they did on there website he laughed. When I got a manager to get them to sell me something matching he went through the whole thing of finding it again went through the it says its on site on the website he did not laugh but looked at me like I was a total idiot, then had to get a higher manager to see if they could sell me the comparable item finding out they could not in the end. I drove down the street 10 minutes after wasting 45 minutes at BB and got it at Microcenter. BB is useless and HH Gregg or one of the others can take there place and will. Then they will go out of business where Amazon, Ebay etc are in every state with a major metro area and can do same day then they to the greatest part die.

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Jaybk26 replied on Sun, Aug 12 2012 1:48 PM

I'm rooting for you BestBuy! Something about that store just makes me happy.

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JOMA replied on Mon, Aug 13 2012 10:24 AM

It would be great if they could revamp their stores and their business model but it may just be too little too late. The only reason I go to a BB is to see the products in person. Larger items I do tend to purchase locally since it's a pain to return if I ever needed to. I did get an LCD from them recently but only because I have GC's to spend.

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enprim22 replied on Sat, Aug 18 2012 10:58 AM

Without a complete business overhaul as well as making working for Best Buy an attractive proposition, this is a pipedream.

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