By: Doug Olenick | November 13, 2012

Hey Microsoft, What’s Up With Win8 Sales?

For the last few weeks I thought Hurricane Sandy had managed to knock Microsoft’s Redmond campus off the power grid.

The almost total lack of noise from the software giant regarding Windows 8 sales in both the aftermarket and PC OEM arena is quite telling, and the only reason I could come up with was its email system was down due to the high winds that crushed New Jersey and New York. The hush surrounding the Surface tablet is just as damning.

Not that Microsoft needs to

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By: Steve Smith | November 02, 2012

Through My Home Office Window

Brooklyn, N.Y. – I realized only on Wednesday that I had a perfect view of one of the iconic images of Hurricane Sandy outside my window in my home office. The crane is still dangling from the 90-story luxury high rise on 59th Street in Manhattan. It is stable now and should be removed in the coming days and weeks.

It is a metaphor on the ingenuity of human beings to build to the sky, and the power of Mother Nature to flip it over at a moment's notice and tell us who is

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By: Steve Smith | October 25, 2012

Best Buy Changes Surprise, But Not Unexpected

Changes put in place by Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly and announced late yesterday were initially surprising, but upon reflection 24 hours later, not unexpected.

Joly came in as a turnaround specialist and he is doing what turnaround specialists usually do —  make changes and cut costs.

He is fighting what has to be considered a multi-front war:

*maintain, if not grow, its sales during this holiday season, probably the most important in its history;


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By: Doug Olenick | October 18, 2012

Best Buy’s Tablet Looking For A Few Likes

If Best Buy’s Facebook account can be believed, the retailer will enter the tablet PC market on or around Nov. 11.

The announcement itself and the manner it was delivered are both new territory for Best Buy.

The company placed an image and a few details about its upcoming Insignia-branded Flex tablet last week on its Facebook page and today rumors abound on the web that its price will be about $250.

The tablet will run Android 4.0, have a 9.7-inch display, a 1GHz

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By: Doug Olenick | October 09, 2012

Smartphones Are Giving Voters A New Voice

Smartphones are quickly becoming an important tool for voters to follow campaigns, discuss issues and connect directly with a politician running for office.

According to a poll conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 88 percent of registered voters own a cellphone and 48 percent of these folks have a smartphone. And they are not afraid to use it to both spread and absorb election information.

So far during this election cycle, about 45 percent of these people

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By: Steve Smith | October 08, 2012

Marking Gary Shapiro’s 30 Years At CEA

Last week Randy Fry, president of Fry’s Electronics and chairman of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), sent out an email to the organization’s staff congratulating one employee for marking his 30th anniversary — Gary Shapiro, president/CEO of CEA.

I emailed Gary last week to congratulate him, but I also wrote, “Is that even possible?” The reason for my reaction is this: Can it really be 30 years?

I first interviewed Gary on the

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By: Steve Smith | August 20, 2012

Schulze Sends Best Buy One More Letter

Dick Schulze, founder and former chairman of Best Buy, sent the chain’s board another letter today requesting permission to form a group and “conduct basic due diligence so that he can present a fully financed offer for the company” based on Minnesota state law.

The gist of the letter is just about the same as his original statement of August 6, but it had some pointed remarks in it. Here they are with the italics being inserted by yours truly:

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By: Richard Glikes | August 20, 2012

Long Live Best Buy

There has been considerable banter about the imminent demise of Best Buy. Custom retailers and integrators should rue the day that this would happen.

We cannot deliver the volume necessary to keep specialty suppliers in business. The outcome would be the manufacturing of more commodity products, less consumer awareness of new technologies and gear, and the strengthening of our true enemy,

Where did Circuit City’s volume go? Certainly not to specialists or

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By: Gary Yacoubian | August 20, 2012

Best Buy’s Challenges Echo Those Of Specialists

It is fascinating that specialty stores were a leading indicator for what is now happening to Best Buy. The real issue we had was the inability to drive people into our stores. That is now Best Buy’s core issue as well.

Best Buy used software very effectively to address this in the past, and there are a few bodies left on that trail, such as Tower Records, and of course all the specialty music stores that Tower hadn’t crushed yet. Now Best Buy doesn’t

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By: Stephen Baker | August 20, 2012

Best Buy Reconstructed

For Best Buy, and big box retail in general, the past few weeks have been filled with “doom and gloom” comments circulating throughout the Web. While it is always easy (and popular) to make blind assertions about failure and dissolution these assertions almost always end up being “fact lite” with little beyond a bloggers’ poor experience, marginal understanding of the issues, or personal vendetta to back them up. So it is time to shine a little bright

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