Is Best Buy Going Out of Business? Forbes Says "Gradually"

Would you miss Best Buy if the electronics chain suddenly shut its doors for good the way Circuit City did awhile back? The knee-jerk reaction by many tech enthusiasts is to answer "Hell no!" followed by a Best Buy horror story or three, but such incidents aside, would you really be happier if Best Buy no longer existed? Regardless of your answer, the time may come when you'll find out firsthand if the world is a better place without Best Buy in the picture, and according to Larry Downes, a contributing writer with Forbes, the time will come.

Mr. Downes gives Best Buy "maybe a few more years" before the seemingly inevitable happens, and he supports his notion by pointing out a few key metrics. One of those metrics is that fact that Best Buy continues to lose market share, even though it no longer has a competitor in Circuit City. Investors weren't real happy with Best Buy's last earnings announcement, and the electronics chain closed out 2011 with a stock price 40 percent lower than when the year began.

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The numbers are one thing, but according to Downes, they 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 on line. And try, really try, not to lose your temper," Downes writes.

He goes on to offer anecdotal evidence of how Best Buy is ill equipped to survive, before getting back on track with better arguments, one of them being the challenge of competing with online giants like Amazon. It's a long piece -- 5 pages -- but mostly interesting and certainly makes you think, what would life be like without Best Buy?