By the time you read this the fact that Best Buy’s quarterly profit is off 30 percent, a figure close to the decline in their stock price over the last year, will be old news, as will explanations of why that is (”the economy is bad”, “there are no really cool new things to sell”, “others are struggling as well”, etc.)
Some of that is true but is it enough so to explain otherwise dismal performance, particularly when there is no other chain like them with which to compete?
No it’s not.
The economy and what a retailer has to sell are, of course, important, but if Best Buy had only focused on just those two throughout their history, we might be talking about some other large retailer who outlived all the rest.
More than the headlines describing the latest numbers, I think the headline of a Wall Street Journal story that appeared the day before the quarterly report was released, says it all:
“Best Buy Has the Cash but Not the Buzz”
“Buzz” is the excitement that transcends the product and it results from many things in addition to the product itself. The environment it is in, how it is presented, what the people selling it have to say about it, the reputation of the retailer selling it.
When you see it you know it and when you don’t you do as well. Next time you visit a Best Buy, stand off to the side of the Apple display and watch the shoppers looking at Apple products.
Now go to an Apple store and see what happens there.