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.

Source: Flickr (nafmo)

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?
Via:  Forbes
RTietjens 2 years ago

"would you really be happier if Best Buy no longer existed?"

Yes. Absolutely. There's no lack of *legitimate* electronics outlets. Best Buy is not among them.

kryosynth 2 years ago

Ha yea..bullbuy....

mrdrcapt 2 years ago

Were am I going to use the Amazon barcode scaning app!

omegadraco 2 years ago

To be honest I hate Best Buy but I do not want to see more jobs go away and besides the fact they put everyone else out of business in my area so that would leave me no where to pick up certain products in an emergency.

AKwyn 2 years ago

Well honestly I think there'll always be a place for a big-box electronics retailer (Micro Center and Fry's are still doing well in their respective cities.), I do think that there's no place for Best Buy... In any case, if it does go belly up; they should at least sell some of their stores to SystemMax so that they can expand their Circuit City and CompUSA stores past their hometown in Miami. I mean there is still a need for electronic stores, where else can you see TV's up close and personal and have a wide variety of it?

bob_on_the_cob 2 years ago

I think Best Buy would hurt me less than losing Circuit City did. But that is mainly because the restaurant I work at is right next door to the old Circuit City headquarters. It was our main source of business. :( Though a new company is moving in this year finally.

On a tech related note I do go into Best Buy once in a while. The usually have decent deals on hard drives which is what is usually broken when someone brings me a laptop to fix. I actually got my PSU from there as well. It was $10 cheaper than Newegg. It's a Corsair 750TX. Really the only component that is over the top is graphics cards.

Now Radioshack is the store I would miss. They are nothing but cellphone stores that carry thermal paste. But they are the only place in Richmond, VA that I know of that I can get Arctic Silver 5.

sarcasticjosh 2 years ago

I dunno.... As much as I despise the company, thats a lot of jobs at stake. I'd rather have a few thousand people employed and scamming a few who are richer than average than having a few thousand unemployed.

realneil 2 years ago

I don't want to bore people with Best Buy horror stories. Everyone has already heard them, or lived them anyway. (is that my knee going crazy?)

There is not one near me, so it will not matter at all. I want to see people retain the jobs that they have, but some practices that have developed at that store over the years piss me off.

I quit making the drive to Best Buy years ago because of how they are towards the customers that shop there.

If they fade away it's gonna be ~because~ of the way they treated their customers, but somebody will replace them soon enough.

MayhemMatthew 2 years ago

Instead of the big box stores, we will hopefully go back to smaller electronic stores that have knowledgeable staff instead of clueless dimwits. Of course not all employees are, but a lot of them...

DHampton 2 years ago

Why buy from best buy when small things such as cable are as much as 400% cheaper and other bigger things such as video cards 200% cheaper. Really only good when you need something right away. Unless they completely revamp they will eventually go under. Dont know how to change but maybe do rentals repairs teach classes for first time comp users.

robinclifton 2 years ago

I hope not! Where else am I going to get appliances for a reasonable price??????????

Der Meister 2 years ago

When I worked for them a few years back I figured the same after seeing how the business is run. 

digitaldd 2 years ago

Its funny I would actually miss best Buy if they were to go away as it is now there are so few stores you can go into and actually see and checkout new electronic merchandise. Somethings you just have to see before you buy. A neighbor bough a nice 65 inch TV for Christmas through Amazon had he looked at a 65inch TV in Best Buy he would have known the thing wouldn't fit through his door.

realneil 2 years ago

[quote user="digitaldd"]had he looked at a 65inch TV in Best Buy he would have known the thing wouldn't fit through his door.[/quote]

That's what they make a Sawzall for. Smile

Lev_Astov 2 years ago

I would miss it. There aren't enough decent alternatives around here and sometimes I just have to have something NOW.

OSunday 2 years ago

Best Buy has the potential to be one of the most successful tech/consumer electronics stores there is but they need to fix their absolutely RIDICULOUS pricing of products and services

Geek Squad, the Home Theater installation and Car electronics shop all offer some of the best services around where I live, their just not anywhere near competitively priced.

I hope it doesn't completely go out of business but gets near there and ends up being bought out by Newegg or Amazon or something that could utilize the potential Best Buy has, but I know thats just wishful thinking

Super Dave 2 years ago

As long as Fry's and NewEgg remain, I'm good!Big Smile

eunoia 2 years ago


rapid1 2 years ago

This is a issue that really has many sides. The first as mentioned as a knee jerk reaction is BestBuy is not needed. There is much to validate this as electronics and online purchases especially go hand in hand. I have done business on the web in this regard for many years.

The thing here is BestBuy is the largest single brick and mortar retailer in the country. Therefore they impact prices and a large amount of the general use them and are at the least somewhat satisfied. I know, I know, but I am not the general public and neither are you. So let them make there own decisions.

As mentioned by several people on here BestBuy has one use at least for me. I will go in and look at things. No I don't buy anything from them but there a decent showroom for a pretty wide amount of devices. SO I check things out at BB then go buy them elsewhere from time to time at a much better price.

If BB wants to survive they have to go through some major changes. The problem is as far as a business model goes when you go through major changes it changes to much for it to work any more. Yes Fry's, and Micro center are still here (Micro center could also be somewhat questionable) and as far as it goes I went to Microcenter the other day for 2 120cm fans because I needed them for a customers computer. I would have rather gone to Fry's but there is not one on the NW side of Atlanta only on the NE and direct North of the city.

Either way I would not cry at the loss of BB, but I think they make up a lot of slack in the market for the general consumer. I know it is kind of negative to watch others over pay for things, but you have to realize that in the large picture that affects the market in general, and mainly in prices as well as volumes of device types. In the end we generally get a better price because of it. If a distributor has a large brick and mortar that takes a large amount of inventory off of there hands, then they can afford to sell said device cheaper because there quota has then been met. That is how BB affects the market!

In the end having a large distributor leave the market affects it and probably negatively. The reason Circuit city did not do so very much is because BB/Etc. had to a large amount already taken there business. The loss of CC therefore had a very minor impact on the market. As far as it all goes CC corporate is still there and doing fine in the other ventures they had (Mainly Carmax) from what I understand!

mac734 2 years ago

I never thought I'd miss a Best Buy, until one day on my way to photograph a wedding I forgot to bring two spare lithium ion batteries for my camera! They saved my ass that day, for sure.

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