Best Buy: A Brief History Through Time

By TWICE Staff On Nov 7 2011 - 6:01am

1966: Richard Schulze opens Sound of Music stereo store in St. Paul, Minn.

1981: The chain hits on a low-price, no-frills format following a fire sale at a tornado-ravaged store

1983: Sound of Music changes name to Best Buy; opens first superstore

1985: Brian Dunn joins Best Buy as sales associate

1989: Best Buy employs “grab-and-go” merchandising within a non-commissioned, warehouse-style environment; introduces yellow tag logo

1993: Best Buy becomes No. 2 CE retailer behind Circuit City

1995: Best Buy implements standard operating platform (SOP) to standardize and manage operations

1999: adds CE

2000: Best Buy acquires Magnolia Hi-Fi; launches

2001: Best Buy acquires Canada’s Future Shop, its first international venture

2002: Brad Anderson succeeds Schulze as CEO; acquires Geek Squad

2003: Best Buy dumps ill-fated Musicland music store acquisition

2005: Best Buy acquires Audiovisions, a California integrator; begins national roll out of customer centricity model

2006: Best Buy opens first stand-alone Mobile store with Carphone Warehouse; opens first in-store Magnolia departments; opens Geek Squad City, a 165,000-squarefoot IT repair depot; acquires Pacific Sales home improvement chain; acquires Chinese CE and appliance chain Five Star

2007: Dunn promoted to president

2008: Best Buy acquires Napster; enters European venture with Carphone Warehouse; Lehman Brothers collapses, economy follows

2009: Dunn succeeds Anderson as CEO, reorganizes management structure, cuts content delivery deals with TiVo and Sonic Solutions, develops connected store format, begins tests of electric car sales; Circuit City liquidates

2010: Best Buy launches private-label wireless-broadband service, tests Shopkick location-based mobile shopping apps, adds iPad and Kindle, extends IT products and services to physicians, tests electric vehicle charging stations

2011: Best Buy plans reductions in store square footage and expansion of online SKUs, rolls out in-store gaming centers, adds third-party resellers to site, closes Best Buy stores in Turkey and China; fiscal 2011 earnings fall 3 percent; full-year comps projected at flat to negative 3 percent. The chain begins rollout of Pacific Sales majap departments and launches holiday shopping enhancements.

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