15 April 2011

Leadership Agenda: Best Buy Co.

It seemed like the best of all worlds for Best Buy stores. There was good news in a slow economy.  Circuit City, its chief competitor, was going out of business. The conditions were right for Best Buy to continue expanding, now with its major competitor gone from the scene.

However, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

While the competitive retail landscape was changing so was the consumer and their options for purchasing electronic equipment. Households have increasing confidence to purchase big ticket items from their computer screens, Pads, and smartphones.

What happened?

The Internet remains a potentially destructive force for nearly all companies, even those with a strong physical presence. Note the closing of 200 Border's Book Stores. Amazon.com Inc. is getting stronger by offering an increasing number of products while collecting limited sales tax. 

Its shipping options are also more attractive.

What was a plus yesterday (large stores nearby) now appears to be a liability (overhead).

It was announced recently that Best Buy will "shrink" its "big-box" strategy.

What will the new design look like? Here is CEO Brian Dunn's revised leadership agenda:
  • Position Best Buy to aggressively compete against Amazon.com
  • Rapidly escalate opening smaller stores focusing on smartphones (having 600 to 800 Best Buy Mobile stores in five years)
  • Close some existing stores thereby reducing square footage costs
  • Negotiate smaller leases with landlords
  • Lobby for change in U.S. tax laws forcing online retailers to collect sales taxes.


(C) Bredholt & Co.