Best Buy CEO: Feedback Is 'A Gift You Don't Always Care to Open'

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Mitch Wagner
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kicheko - So i'm wondering how come we seem to be moving back to shop owners preffering physical visits, expanding stores for more people....sure they can expand a bit, but should they not be more concerned with strengthening the online channel?

I think a lot of it has to do with company politics. In the end, people are always more concerned with their own jobs than the company bottom line. The vast majority of people in a retailer are dedicated to the brick-and-mortar operation; if the brick-and-mortar operation contracts, these people have to get new skills or new jobs. 

kicheko
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Mitch, - Back when online shopping started out, it was the trend for stores to try and minimise physical visits to their shops, instead focusing on online orders and then delivering. At some point i thought that except for food stores, some merchants were eventually going to phase out the physical store completely.

So i'm wondering how come we seem to be moving back to shop owners preffering physical visits, expanding stores for more people....sure they can expand a bit, but should they not be more concerned with strengthening the online channel?

JRvision
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Very well put, Mitch. They do need a conductor to instill a flow to that operation, pick up the pieces.   

Mitch Wagner
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AliceAMM - Going out into the retail forest, hunting for goods and bringing them home for the family. 

... strapped to the front bumper of the pickup truck....




AliceAMM
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I totally agree that shopping is a social experience for many. It's kind of like the hunters of old. Going out into the retail forest, hunting for goods and bringing them home for the family. <insert Tim Allen grunt here>

For now, at least, I seriously don't mind being in self-help mode which is what the web offers me. However, there are times when hunting in the wild is appealing. And fun!

Mitch Wagner
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kicheko - I'm sorry, I don't understand your point. Are you saying it would be bad for them to expand any of their stores?

Mitch Wagner
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AliceAMM - I think many of these discussions of the future of retail lose sight of the fact that shopping is a social and recreational activity for many people. 

kicheko
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One thing that has me wondering is this comment from the post,

But Best Buy plans to shrink the square footage of many retail locations, while others will expand to serve growing demand.

I thought that would be a positive thing to shrink the physical store. Are we moving back to the days brick-and-mortar was more dominant?

 

 

John Barnes
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Hypothesis for the moment: in the new world of e- and mixed- but hardly any purely-storefront marketing, the most responsive system wins.  (And there's a speed factor in responsiveness; "the answers are a, b, c, and yes, right away, here it is" beats the pants off "We can order that for you, and here's a website where you can look up the answers to your questions."  Amazon beats brick and mortar because there's actually more info available on their typical website than from a typical salescritter, assuming you can catch one; full response in less time.

If so, then one thing a company in trouble can't be is resistant to bad news.  We've all seen what "too big to fail" means in reality -- "too big to fail quietly or slowly."  Overreaction is potentially expensive too, but just now I think Best Buy would be better off overreacting to their situation than underreacting.

Ryck
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Karl, I think that Best Buy has an opportunity to succeed.  Although some of this success is tied to effectively merging a strong online presence with their brick-and-mortar outlets, there is a part of the success linked to the nature of how people shop.  For many commodity type items, you may purchase exclusively online--the risk is low and the low prices are very attractive.  For bigger ticket items, however, I still believe many like to see and touch these items.  Or, it may be a case where a customer needs some consultation.  Best Buy, therefore, is positioned well, I believe, to capitalize on this.  The key to true success, however, will be a great online experience seamlessly married to its brick-and-mortar presence--not an esy task.

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