By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Minneapolis – Best Buy has pink-slipped 400 workers at its corporate headquarters.
The layoffs and other cost-saving measures, all executed today, will trim about $150 million in expenses, the company said.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.
Pundits who’ve been betting against Best Buy may now be having second thoughts.
Forbes, which helped usher in the competitive sport of Best Buy bashing during Holiday 2011, posted a blog about two analyst upgrades that put the CE chain in a new light.
New York — Best Buy plans to put a major promotional effort behind the launch of the HTC One smartphone.
This will be part of a greater investment in mobile-phone advertising and promotion during the next 12 months, said Allister Jones, head of marketing for Best Buy’s connectivity business group.
Best Buy will be the smartphone’s exclusive indirect-channel launch partner.
Minneapolis — Best Buy’s holiday policy of matching online and local competitors’ prices will be made permanent.
The holiday offer, which informally continued into the new year as the retailer wrestled with its pricing strategy, will be extended indefinitely under Best Buy’s new “low price guarantee” policy, which officially goes into effect March 3.
Like its predecessor, the new policy covers more than a dozen major e-commerce sites and most CE and appliance products.
Minneapolis — Dick Schulze has been unable to muster enough support from banks to finance a buyout of Best Buy, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Facing a Feb. 28 deadline to submit a formal acquisition proposal, the chain’s founder and former chairman may instead seek investors to take a minority stake in the business, unnamed sources told the newspaper.
Minneapolis — Best Buy is offering a $50 incentive to drum up new mobile business.
Beginning today, the chain will give customers a $50 Best Buy gift card when they buy and activate a new, qualified cellphone on a two-year Verizon, AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile postpaid plan.
Activations for Verizon, AT&T and Sprint phones can be made in Best Buy’s flagship and Mobile specialty stores, and online for all four carriers.
London – Best Buy, which reported flat U.S. holiday sales, had better luck in Europe over Christmas.
Best Buy Europe, the retailer’s 50-50 joint venture with Britain’s Carphone Warehouse (CPW), showed a 14.5 percent hike in net revenue, to 1.1 million pounds, and a same-store sales increase of 7.8 percent for the fiscal third quarter, ended Dec. 31.
Minneapolis – Best Buy reported flat comp sales and a 1.2 percent dip in revenue domestically for the holiday selling season.
The company generated $9.9 billion in revenue for the period, which encompassed the nine weeks ended Jan. 5.
Online sales rose 10 percent to $1.1 billion in the U.S., buoyed by increased site traffic. Indeed, Best Buy said its e-commerce site was among the top-three most visited on Thanksgiving and Black Friday according to ComScore, and ranked third in visits on Cyber Monday according to Experian.
Minneapolis -- Best Buy is losing two board members, including former interim CEO Mike Mikan.
Mikan, who temporarily succeeded Brian Dunn, had campaigned for the permanent CEO position, but was ultimately passed over in favor of Hubert Joly. He officially left the board Dec. 26 to become president of ESL Investments, the hedge fund run by Sears Holdings’ chairman Eddie Lampert.
The other director, Matthew Paull, is leaving in April.
Mountain View, Calif. — Best Buy’s digital chief Stephen Gillett has left the retailer to join Symantec as COO.
Gillett, the former chief information officer for Starbucks, joined Best Buy in March as digital and global business services president, with responsibility for e-commerce and digital strategies. His appointment, under former CEO Brian Dunn, was designed to boost Best Buy’s multichannel capabilities amid growing competition from Amazon.com and other online-only retailers.