Best Buy Stores Makeover: Retailer Starts to Think Smaller

By: WebProNews Staff - July 6, 2012

Best Buy stores makeover: Expect the size of the retail giant’s stores to shrink considerably in the near future. In an effort to combat the shrinking revenue from their numerous oversized locations, Best Buy is building a new prototype store near its Minnesota headquarters that will pull a page straight out of the Apple playbook. Instead of carrying every possible electronic gadget under the proverbial sun, the company will think smaller, carrying a more concentrated selection of devices in an effort to turn the tide of their floundering business.

In addition to scaling down the number of items in their showroom, Best Buy will also feature something called Solution Central, which is essentially their version of Apple’s Genius Bar. Staffed by Geek Squad employees, customers can, in theory, bring their electronic problems to the location and have them apply their endless knowledge to the issues at-hand. However, despite their plan to implement a solution center for consumers, the company is rumored to be laying off over 650 Geek Squad employees across the nation.

Since the company is saying goodbye to some of its technicians, does that mean Best Buy is getting out of of the at-home support business? According to company, “Best Buy 2.0″ will still offer these service to its customers, though it, too, will become more streamlined. “We know that clients will always need us to come to their homes, and increasingly their needs are more complex. That’s why we’re evolving in-home support for a more specific customer segment,” the company said in a statement.

According to the Wall Street Journal, all of these significant changes are a concentrated effort to save the company nearly $800 million over the next three years. And if they manage to regain some marketshare, that would be a positive, as well. In addition to possibly rolling out smaller versions of their stores, Best Buy will close nearly 50 underperforming locations.

Smaller stores, less Geek Squad employees, limited in-home support — the Best Buy as its currently known may become a thing of the past. As brick-and-mortar retailers continue to struggle against their online counterparts, implementing such changes are the only way these companies can compete. Although I’ll miss the days of mindlessly browsing the store’s seemingly endless selection of movies, DVDs, and computer games, that time has admittedly come and gone. Best Buy is dead; long live Best Buy 2.0.

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  • Ray Spence

    After all the bad service that I have received from Geek Squad, I will never again step foot into a Best Buy Store. My last electronic issue was solved by calling Sears, where a customer is still valued commodity. I don’t wish the people in the Chico, CA store any bad luck, but your Geek Squad sucks.

    • mary

      i think Ray is looking for a handout, making up stories about geeksquad here in Chico… stop it Ray! i command you! STOP IT!

  • Brian

    I used to shop Best Buy because I could find those electronics/computer parts and accessories I needed. Over the past year I have noticed their mass reduction in PC software and computer accessories as well as cables, thumbdrive selection, ect… I really don’t have a need to visit their stores any more knowing they most likely do not stock any of the items I would go to buy there. Too bad cause I have purchased every TV (7), Blue Ray player (4) and even my washer and dryer from them in the past. I used to love visiting Best Buy and impluse buying while getting the things I needed, not anymore…. They have done it to themselves.

  • Chet

    Ray Spence, got it right!

    Haven’t been to Best Buy in a couple of years. Go to Sears exclusively, get great warranty and they USUALLY beat Walmart prices, with thier frequent sales 15-50% off, they slay Walmart prices.
    And you can put Sears sales and closeout items on lay-a-way.

    Bye bye Best Buy.

    • mary

      oh shut up Chet, you sound like an idiot.. oh , thats right , you ARE an idiot!

    • Joey

      Sears is for old people. Sears is going out of business too.

  • E

    I used to go to Best Buy to buy a couple of laptop computers a year because of their excellent Extended Service warranties. By the way, never buy anything electronic without one. Then Best Buy stopped offering the 3 yr plan and raised the price on the shorter plans. Now, I go to Sam’s or costco or elsewhere and either buy their Extended plans or just buy one from SquareTrade. I don’t need Best Buy any longer. I’ve had a store credit of about $300 for 2 years which my wife and I have been trying to spend before they go out of business.

  • Frank B

    Circuit City tried this also – see how well it worked for them.
    Best Buy will be a forgotten name in 3 years – stay away from the stock.

    • mary

      oh Frank B giving stock advice? genius, lol..
      get out of town dimwit

      • none of your business

        mary, dimwit, idiot, shut it, nutball, goofball. Sounds not only like the way a best buy employee would treat a customer, but actual words to describe, yourself, this company, and it’s way of training it’s employees.

      • Joey

        Mary is my favorite replier here.

  • Frederik Kluvers

    Best Buy as a whole is an OK store, However the employees are not customer friendly and perhaps should get some real training in how to satisfy a customers need.

    I use to shop at the Best Buy in bakersfield,Ca the service is atrocious, they are more impressed by
    chit chatting with each other than being attentive and lending some support when a customer needs it
    The only thing I use Best Buy for is to check out a product and than continue to buy the product on line,usual cheaper than Best Buy will offer

  • Doug Roberson

    Smaller stores are not the answer. Fewer rude employees who have almost no knowledge of the products they sell would help.

    • Joey

      I don’t understand why people care if the salespeople know anything about the product. Can’t you read the boxes yourself?

  • daytripper

    Swell. Now Best Buy will probably have even LESS of their advertized items in stock!

  • paul yoas

    bought a gateway compter and was forced to guy the geek squad two year two hundre plan..i had the computer a month and it was returned four times before the Geek squad got the gateway computer *desk top* to finally work wife and I will never guy another gateway or shop at best buy..too much BS from the staff..and in the end..I had to drive back and forth from Monroe Michigan six times round trip…so from now on I buy locally at Walmart or Stapeles

    • mary

      no one forced you to do anything paul, they cant force you to buy something, you were just stupid and now you are blaming best buy for being a total idiot? go back and get your GED dimwit

  • Littie Weaver

    I will never ever make a major purchase from Best Buy. I bought a large screen tv and all the home theater stuff a couple of years ago. The Geek squad delivered it and the tv had a big scratch on the edge of the screen…the box had been opened and I think it was a demo. The cabinet door fell off in two days and it took a long time to get a replacement…they bought a demo from the store. Long story short, it took a few months to get everthing as it should be. Telephone messages are not transferred in the store that I used.

    • mary

      whaaa whaaa , waaaa, crybaby little weaver

  • charlie

    get rid of geek squad best buy might have a chance my 8 year granddaughter knows more about computers than most of the ones that work in the best buy that we go to

    • mary

      such a liar, you know geeksquad knows better than your redneck grandaughter , dimwit

  • Tyler Elliott

    How about instead of shrinking store size, Best Buy starts shrinking its prices of Everything. There is virtually nothing at Best Buy that I can’t find for less on Amazon or other internet sites… nothing.

    • mary

      shut your face tyler, you know you shop there all the time.. dimwit

  • Mike

    How about having decent (not even good) just decent customer service.

  • Dean

    Someone needs to stick a fork in Best Buy… they’re DONE.

    • mary

      dean come up with something original, that response is overused, dimwit

  • Joshua Ankney

    Best Buy is going down the drain. This company is heading for the same fate as Circuit City. Either file Chapter 9 Bankruptcy of be bought out by Tigerdirect.

    • Joshua Ankney

      Best Buy is going down the drain. This company is heading for the same fate as Circuit City. Either file Chapter 9 Bankruptcy or be bought out by Tigerdirect

    • mary

      zip it joshua

      • mary

        goofy joshua, there is no chapter 9 bankruptcy, its chapter 7 or 11,, nutball

    • Joey

      Where are people going to buy all their movies and music? Oh, it’s all online now. How about computers? Oh the Apple store. How about cell phones? Apple store. Washer and dryers? Home depot. Big screen TVs? Wallmart. Sorry Best Buy, bye bye.



    • mary

      yeah right, you know you hate dealing with customers and dont honor returns, liar liar pants on fire carmen, dimwit and you are over priced,

  • John

    Best Buy offers no customer service( on the phone or store level) they do not have knowledgeable associates ( no company training) they do not ever have enough cashiers, Their prices are very high, so why are your sales down Mr. CEO????

    • mary

      shut it john..

  • Had It

    I challenge any CEO of any American company to do a survey of American Customers and ask them what is wrong with their company!!! They do not care about the Customer, they are to busy trying to make a profit, all it would take is knowledgeable employees,but the company would have to pay them more,so thats out. Good customer service, no then they would have to pay them more, so thats out. It all comes down to the customer.Companies do not have Careers anymore, its to expensive!! What if a CEO of Best Buy had a Secretary, that was trained like his employees, would the Secretary last longer than a day? The only thing a well trained CEO can come up with is lower pay, cut hours delete insurance for the family and they still can not make the company a profit?? Why do they make so much money?

    • Joey

      Sorry “Had it”. We Do NOT need knowledgeable employees. We all can read boxes just as well as they can. We want cheaper prices. that’s it. They employees are paid more than enough for what they do. Minimum wage is about right for the service they provide. Those jobs are for teenagers and teenagers only. You shouldn’t even think about making a career in one of those stores.

    • mary

      shut it… had it……all been said before, no one cares about your opinion. Go and have yourself a few more bon bons

      • none of your business

        you must be a best buy employee because skimming your most recent replies i’ve noticed a few things:

        1. People are voicing their unpleasantness with the company, the way they’ve been treated, etc and you keep telling them to shut up.

        2. Instead of listening to the golden information of people/customers telling you what the problem is you refute it and tell them they’re wrong.

        3. You are totally blinded and close minded, you’ve drank the blue koolaid, and jumped on the bandwagon of bleeding blue, yet forgot you’re in business to please the customer.

        These are all prime examples of most best buy employees from the trenches to the corner offices in minny. You’re completely out of tune and have changed the channel from a company that when it started, listen and learned from it’s customers to a company that doesn’t care and thinks only their opinion is what the customers should accept.

        you better start prepping your resume, take a few night courses in customer service and maybe wake up out of the hypocritical arrogant coma state that you’ve been in because i give this company 2 years before it’s on capital hill asking for a bailout or filing chapter 11.

  • JimInPhila

    “Geek Squad,” what a joke. I called them twice. Both times I was told that it would take them weeks to come to me and I should take my computer to the nearest Best Buy store. I took it to the store. I was told that it would take weeks to fix it and I’d be better off just buying a new computer.
    Never purchased anything at Best Buy when the salesperson didn’t try to talk me into the better model. Then, they tried to talk me into the best model. Then they pressured me into their guarantee. But wait! Don’t buy the two year guarantee, buy the three year one.
    All their salespeople are trained the exact same way and push and push and push to get every nickel they can from you.

    • mary

      jim you are dumb and blue color like the rest of philly, go back into your hole and hide. no on wants to hear your dump philly opinion.

  • Jaccqo

    Let’s face it, Best-Buy is among those companies who are consistent for having down right lousy help in their stores. Even if they went thru re-organization, they would come back with the same type sales staff. People are not gonna spend their money in stores where the young sales people would rather hide somewhere in the store than eagerly see if they can help a customer. This discussion can get deep, but the truth is, the work ethic in America has changed drastically. I will venture to say as sales continue to decline many big box retailers will have to resort more to Internet Sales because buyers simply don’t want to deal with uneducated, rude, and lazy sales staff. Results of any given action are sometimes predictable.

    • Joey

      I don’t know anyone that goes to a store for customer service. Let’s be 100% honest here. If you need someone to help you with a product you are going to buy you shouldn’t be buying that product. I find it annoying when someone tries to help me. I can read the box just as good as they can. Customer service is unnecessary and needs to go away. The problem with Best Buy is no one in America needs another laptop, another big screen TV, another blu-ray player, another cell phone, etc. That’s the only problem. Has absolutely nothing to do with the sales people.

      • Mike

        Gonna have to agree with Joey here. I almost always buy my electronics at Best Buy….not because of customer service, but because I like to go and physically look at and compare items, and Best Buy always has the best selection. I could care less about the sales people, in fact, they usually only get in the way.

        • kingyoba

          Many people say that they do not need help only to return products or right a bad review because they did not get to the core features and benefits the product would have for them. The Sal;es people are there to assit you in getting the facts and not opinions which are obtained from most reviews. Most intelligent people can make an intelligent decision only after having the facts.

      • mary

        be quiet joey

        • shut your pie hole mary

          get out of here troll

    • mary

      once again Jakko, or Jaccqo, you are WRONG! you expect Best buy associates to be harvard graduates? they are not lazy and rude, you are lazy and rude., how do you like those banannas?? shoe on the other foot, what do you have to say for yourself now, Jako??

  • Derek

    What did they expect to happen when they hire mostly salespeople and stick them in Geek Squad uniforms. Its always UPSELL, UPSELL, UPSELL! Then again, its how they train everyone to act!

    How many good techs have they lost due to this incessant chant? Techs who can make more money elsewhere doing the job they WANT to do .. mainly fixing peoples computers.

    Circuit City tried fixing their direction the same as what Best Buy is doing now, but it was too late to repair the damage to their name. The last year of Circuit City was GREAT, but no one wanted to deal with them any longer. Best Buy will find out the hard way. Once the economy goes south, people want the good prices AND knowledgeable clerks.

    The last 2 years of Best Buy have been an unmitigated disaster. Target’s electronic section isn’t that much smaller than Best Buy anymore, and if they shrink the stores down even more, it will probably be on par, but with possibly higher prices. Its a crap shoot as to which will have a smarter sales staff at any particular time. If it works out that way, which store wins?

    • mary

      shut up Derek, you are so off base you need a GPS to find your way back. You dont understand business, at all.

  • none of your business

    Geek Squad – “endless knowledge”. Are you kidding me. They are a poor man’s version of an IT drop out. If an IT graduate can make $50-100K a year and Geek Squad “geniuses” make $10 bucks an hour, if they’re lucky, they clearly don’t have endless knowledge. Their idea of fixing a malware issue is reformatting and charging you $150+. Trust me i have plenty of friends that have worked or still work as a geek and they’ll tell you the same thing. Some are very smart, but the majority are just run of the mill. Customer’s don’t know the difference.

    Best Buy is doomed, they’re outdated and stale. They future is online and on demand yet they refuse to embrace it. Their stores are fancy warehouses without diversity. Drop the appliance department, integrate more used games/dvd’s, more interactive kiosks and departments, and divide the departments into individual brands. Oh and please don’t forget to emphasize a complete overhaul of “customer service”. It’s the biggest flaw the company has going for itself. Try training your employees on their products, developing actual salesmen and women, and you know, find a way to treat the customers like human beings. listen to their actual needs and not try to sell them what the product that you earn a higher profit margin on.

    • none of your business

      can’t forget to embrace computer building in store. if people are buying desktops don’t sell them this junk on the shelves. Give the customers an option to have a PC built. Newegg, tiger direct, amazon, and even Fry’s have captured this format and made success.

    • mary

      none of your business: shut your pie hole, you dont know anything.

      • none of your business

        Mary, i know more about that company than you could image. So do us a favor and choose one of 2 options. Shut up and mind your business, or do a handstand in traffic.

  • Patrick

    Mary you need a life, O wait I think this is your life, you work for Best buy?

    • mary is a dimwit

      seriously…get a life and let honest people comment without your dimwit comments!

  • Patrick

    Richard Schulze ???

  • Mr X

    As a former employee for geek squad i can say that it used to be all about computer repair, when i applied for the position i had to have both computer repair and networking certificates. Computer knowledge and skill was needed for the job. it was a great experience until i notice that they were cutting people and hiring people with ether no certificate or skills and paying them less. then it became worse when they try to upsell things in the home, people are already being charge 300 bucks to fix a computer and my bosses wanted me to sell them more things like apple tvs, blu-ray players, subscriptions to Best buy cinema now and etc. it was getting ridiculous! It seems that the art of computer repair was no more, now after years it looks like it has become to a breaking point and people don’t trust geek squad anymore. looks like their changes in the past has come to bite them in the butt

    • Steve

      I was a Store Mgr. for several years with a competitor to Best Buy. We sold computers and all the latest gadgets just as they do. I am amused at all these comments about customer service.
      As a consumer, we all have expectations of good, knowledgeble sales people providing us with great service, especially when we purchase high ticket items, but if you expect consistency in this area with all the downsizing that has occurred over the past ten to fifteen years in these retail companies, then you may as well expect to have a guy check your tires, clean your windshield, and check your oil the next time you go put gas in your car. These companies are interested in one thing and that is the bottom line. Sure they all preach the same thing about the customer being number one and without them, nothing else matters, yet they consistently cut back on payroll while adding more responsibilities to an already overwhelmed group of employees. The people who have the expertise that many of you expect are not, for the most part, working for lower wages at a Discount retailer. Most retailers today are hiring mostly part time associates so they won’t have to pay them benefits and this also allows them more flexibility in cutting back on payroll hrs. when sales are down. The retail business is very competitive and companies who can’t cut expenses won’t be in business very long. When associates see this happening, many may question the loyalty of their company in taking care of them, which translates to less than optimum performance on the salesfloor. Mom and Pop closed shop a long time ago and Gomer isn’t checking your tires and oil anymore. If you want
      great service, you have to pay for it.

      • Joey

        Disagree there Steve. Minimum waged workers are never overwhelmed. It’s a clock-punching job. They also shouldn’t pay them more. No one should ever think a job like that should lead to a career. The only service a store should provide is low prices and a way to return defective merchandise within a reasonable amount of time. Nothing more. Unfortunately, with the government taxing like it does, opening a brick and mortar store here and hiring people is a HUGE hurdle.

  • Not Mary thank goodness

    Is Mary really a robot programmed to repeat silly phrases – nimwit

  • Ed

    Best Buy lost it’s appeal 10 years ago. The only time I ever go there is when I’m on vacation and need an electronic part in a pinch. They should close down and bury every one of their stores right away.

  • Big daddy

    I am a huge electronic fan and big consumer, but when it comes to computers, I am not a Geek. I used to go to Best Buy and Circuit City to compare, get some hands on the products and get technical info from the real Geeks. However, BB’s customer service turned me off years ago. I bought a display model top of the line computer from them with the extended warranty and it kept breaking and BB would take 90 days each time fixing it. After break #6 I just wanted a replacement under the lemon law. The store manager was rude and said she would not. I threw a fit in the store and started talking and turning away customers in line right there and plus I made other threats and then they decided to give me a replacement. After that, I only buy movies, etc at BB and compare prices there, but will not buy any big budget items. To me customer service was the downfall of Circuit City, Wards, Service Merchandise and others. 1st bad service, next out of business.

    • Joey

      Why can’t you fix your own computer? It’s the easiest thing to do. I can’t believe there are places that actually try to make a business doing this.

    • Michigan

      You threw a fit? What are you? Five?

  • Brian

    WOW, went to Best Buy this morning to get the 16gb PNY thumbdrive they had advertised in their add and low and behold they did not have any and no rain checks were offered. They sure tried damn hard to sell me another device for twice the price.