Best Buy to shutter all UK megastores
Dixons sent 'em packing
Best Buy's big box experiment in Europe is over: the US retailer is set to close its megastores and retreat into Carphone Warehouse (CPW) shops.
In a joint venture with CPW launched last year, Best Buy opened 11 giant outlets in the UK, employing some 1,100 staff, all of which will be shuttered.
The battered retail sector forced Best Buy to freeze store expansion plans as losses for the joint venture tripled in the last full financial year. The JV is expected to be £35m in the red when half-year figures are released this week.
“After conducting a thorough strategic review of our operations, we believe that our capital investment and ‘connectivity’ strategy should be prioritised within our Carphone Warehouse stores as they offer a higher and proven rate of return," said Andrew Harrison, CEO of Best Buy Europe.
"The technology world has changed substantially since 2008 and we are confident we will best serve our customers by investing in a single brand and format rather than two," he added.
A spokesman for CPW told El Reg he is "confident" that the vast majority of Best Buy employees, who are today entering a 90-day consultation period and have been given another three months of notice, will be employed within the Carphone Warehouse group at its Wireless World stores.
CPW currently has 805 stores in the UK, and has converted 141 to include the Wireless World boutique. It plans to reformat between 350 and 400 stores in total by the end of its fiscal 2012 in April.
The spokesman said "fairly high attrition rates" in its High Street operation would also create positions for some of the impacted Best Buy staff.
Best Buy's delayed entry into the UK meant that it faced a collapse in consumer spending and gave arch rival Dixons time to raise the defences. ®
I don't think DSG will be too concerned about MMC attention these days, it would probably be a nice problem to have. Its becoming increasingly obvious the days of the physical specialist electrical store are coming to an end; Best Buy gone, Comet can't sell itself and DSG a shadow of its former self. With music, books and games stores not far behind, what the hell is bloke supposed to do on a Saturday when he's dragged out shopping with the missus?
UK stores reap what they sow...
Shops in the UK for years (if not decades now) have had a constant history of unhelpful or unknowledgeable staff, who care little beyond what level of insurance or 'extended warranty' they can sell you.
Now the UK retail sector is reaping what it sowed. People don't want to go to a store and have some snot who thinks he knows it all, because he followed the detailed instructions at home on how to install someone else's custom-built ROM on his Android phone, trying to condescendingly tell them what little they know about the products....or even worse are the over-suited slicksters (mostly from the Asian continent, if truth be told) who are all cocky and think they're so amazing that no-one could possibly argue with them.
Poor customer service, high prices, and shitty attitudes have made it easier and easier for people to just go online and buy the products for a cheaper price and even pay the exhorbitant delivery fees - just so they don't have to go to the effort of making their way down to a shop just to be talked-down-to.
This is a general statement, not just about BB.
Big outlets cant compete with the internet on price or choice, so need to on expertise. I went to Best Buy in Nottingham for the first time to look at some speakers. To my amazement they had a dedicated listening room, lots of equipment on show all wired up with switching boxes. The guy in store was incredibly knowledgeable, talking to me about the bright sound on some KEFs could be tamed by matching with something warm like a Marantz cd player. I dont mind paying a small premium for that expertise. Far better then the Dixon boys reading out the card underneath the item when asked about. "Yeah the Sony 500SE here is like a Special Edition or something " (including upward intonation straight from Ramsay Street).
calling a place where you buy stuff a "store" is an even more ludicrous americanism. the english word is "shop".
If CPW are going to reformat their stores, I hope they remember to back-up first.