Best Buy To Close 42 Stores, Hold Crappy Clearance Sales

Customers stopping by some Best Buy stores around the United States on Saturday got a surprise: the stores had abruptly closed down for the day. When the electronics mega-chain announced a few weeks ago that they planned to close about fifty of their biggest boxes, they meant it. Forty-two Best Buy stores in twenty states (and one in Puerto Rico) will close by May 12. Or whenever they run out of stock: whichever happens first.

In their statement released on Saturday, the company explained that it’s all part of their plan to cut costs while opening more tiny Best Buys–the small-format Best Buy Mobile stores that sell only phones.

More broadly, our previously announced retail store actions are intended to increase points of presence, while decreasing overall square footage, for increased flexibility – including key store remodels with a new Connected Store format, while continuing to build out the successful Best Buy Mobile small format stores throughout the U.S.

More stores, fewer square feet. Got it.

An employee at one of the doomed stores wrote to Consumerist about what went down Saturday. Employees were offered either a severance package or potential transfer to another store. The closings are meant to boost traffic to other area stores, so in theory they will need the help.

Ultimately, our tipster doesn’t think mini-Best Buys are the answer:

I highly doubt that the surrounding stores will get that much of a boost, and they shouldnt be focusing in on Radio Shack. We need to focus on internet retailers and matching those prices, and working on providing better customer service.

If you don’t feel like clicking through, here’s the list, in alphabetical order by state.

  • Casa Grande. AZ
  • Peoria. AZ
  • East Palo Alto, CA
  • Los Angeles (Westwood), CA
  • Manteca, CA
  • Moreno Valley, CA
  • Ontario, CA
  • Pittsburg, CA
  • Tustin, CA
  • Aurora (Arapahoe & Parker), CO
  • Fort Myers (The Forum), FL
  • Tampa (Oldsmar), FL
  • Fayetteville, GA
  • Loganville, GA
  • Addison, IL
  • Chicago (87th & Dan Ryan), IL
  • Deerfield, IL
  • Matteson, IL
  • Mundelein, IL
  • West Dundee, IL
  • Kansas City (Speedway), KS
  • Boston (Back Bay), MA
  • Wareham, MA
  • Baltimore (Inner Harbor), MD
  • Hunt Valley, MD
  • Biddeford, ME
  • Brooklyn Center, MN
  • Edina, MN
  • Hutchinson, MN
  • Lakeville, MN
  • Rochester South, MN
  • Rogers, MN
  • Ellisville, MO
  • Monroe, NC
  • Rocky Mount, NC
  • Omaha (Millard), NE
  • New York (East River Plaza, Harlem), NY
  • Cleveland (Steelyard Commons), OH
  • Dayton (Salem Mall), OH
  • Caguas, PR
  • Middletown, RI
  • Antioch (Hickory Hollow), TN
  • Austin (Techridge), TX
  • San Antonio (Woodlake Parkway), TX
  • Alexandria (Landmark Mall), VA
  • Fredericksburg (Cosner’s Corner), VA
  • East Richmond, VA
  • Vancouver (Mill Plain), WA

Best Buy Confirms Closure Plans for Remaining 42 U.S. Big Box Stores [Press Release]

PREVIOUSLY:
Even Best Buy Doesn’t Like Big Box Stores, Announces Plan To Close 50 Of Them

Comments

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  1. Latentius says:

    You know, it’s hard to reconcile. On one hand, I wouldn’t immediately think that taking the RadioShack route would be the best. But at the same time, Best Buy Mobile tends to be one of the most profitable subunits of Best Buy.

    Regardless, closing some of the larger stores is definitely a step in the right direction. The company has oversaturated the market, and all those big stores cost a ton in overhead. Hopefully, shutting down a few will help the company to be less wasteful, and at best (you can always dream), maybe even help lower prices a bit, or at least keep them from going up.

    • vastrightwing says:

      As soon as there are no Best Buys, I’m going to rent all their old space, setup a show room with pretty much the same stuff they have now, provide free WiFi, computer terminals, coffee, shipping and receiving area. I’ll charge $9/mo to come in and look at all the cool stuff they can order on the Internet. I’ll offer the equivalent of the Geek Squad to help people with technical problems. The store won’t sell any merchandise. No return policy, no warranties. I think it can work.

      • ChuckECheese says:

        I know I’ll pay to shop. Why just pay for merchandise? You should pay for the mere opportunity to buy things. Aldi, you can just keep my grocery cart quarter.

      • Latentius says:

        You know, I’ve often wondered whether such a system would work. I mean, if the only reason people come in is to test-drive merchandise and find someone to ask questions about that technology, I wonder if people would actually pay for that. Personally, I still come down more on the side of “no,” but it’d be an interesting experiment.

        And just for the record, Best Buy *does* have free wifi. It’s not a completely unrestricted network (app stores, POP3, and indecent websites are blocked, for example), but it’s there for anyone to use, if you want to avoid data charges on your phone. It still allows unfettered access to Amazon, Newegg, etc., if you want to compare prices.

        • Gehasst says:

          With Geeksquad already swiping all of your media off your machines, you want to hop on their wireless network? Nah, no thx.

          • Latentius says:

            There may be a few isolated incidents where that happened, but if you honestly believed it’s widespread, you’re either a fool or a liar.

            However, let’s go into this a little more. The network is Best Buy’s, not Geek Squad’s. Geek Squad does not maintain internal store networks, the POS computers, etc.

            Getting back to the network, whenever you connect to a new wireless network in Windows, have you ever noticed that little box that pops up, asking you if you trust the network? Yeah, pay attention to that. Don’t go out of your way to share your files or transmit sensitive data over an untrusted network. Besides, it’s not like the Geek Squad agents are just sitting around, scanning the wireless network for new devices to steal data from. That’s just idiotic.

      • Coleoptera Girl says:

        Pay for demos… with people there to tell you about the stuff there and to help you with electronics you already own? Throw in a gaming/internet cafe section and I’ll jump in with you!

    • Steevo says:

      If indeed Best Buy Mobile (cellphone stores) are the most profitable understand they don’t really sell anything. If they had to actually sell you things, well, that’s much more difficult.

      They sign you up for a shiny new two year contract for which they get a $450+ kickback from the cellular carrier. Essentially they are selling *you* to the carrier.

      Those cellular carriers control all aspects of the sale: What phones are available, how much they cost if anything, what contract you must sign and what the terms of that contract are. The retailer has very little to do with it. It’s all dictated by the carriers.

      The carriers maintain a stranglehold on the equipment and use that stranglehold to keep customers signed up for long contracts. The phones are only incidental. The real money is in the service, by far. The reason they want you on a contract is the high customer acquisition cost. With sales commissions and the cost of the equipment that can run hundreds of dollars. Much cheaper to keep you under contract.

      Now, if the cellphone carriers stopped selling equipment at all and you could buy your phones on the open market without distortion of the market by the carrier’s involvement, choice would be greatly improved, prices would be much less, and the service from the carrier would be both cheaper and better.

      The carrier could concentrate on providing good service. If they didn’t satisfy you, you’d change carriers. They’d have to make you happy.

      Phones would be made in high volume and be much cheaper without the kickbacks to pay. You could have a large PDA phone for the workweek and a smaller phone for the weekends.

      None of that you can do now.

      • Latentius says:

        There *are* such things as off-contract, unlocked phones, you know. The problem is, without being subsidized by the carriers, they’re usually ungodly expensive compared to their on-contract, locked counterparts.

        And yes, the way Best Buy Mobile makes money by signing you up for contracts (and to a lesser extent, on accessories). However, there is one reason that makes it worth going to a store like this, rather than straight to a carrier’s store: selection. Most phones are tied to specific carriers, as you already know. Now, it’s not perfect, but if you have the selections of all carriers in one store, you could at least make a decision based on the hardware you want, rather than picking a carrier and trying to decide which of their devices you want (though, that would still work, too).

        Of course, this goes for any multi-carrier, mobile-centric store, not just Best Buy Mobile. It’s not a great advantage, but it’s something, at least.

        • Steevo says:

          Not really.

          Those hyperinflated list prices are designed to keep you interested in the contracts.

          You don’t think the carriers pay $600 for that phone made in a plant in Korea or Mexico do you? Nah. Maybe $150. Likely lots less sometimes. Maybe as low as $70 or $80. Check it out, there are chinese Iphone clones on dealextreme for $45 with free shipping from China. Now maybe a real Iphone costs an extra $20 or $30 to make, but it’s a far cry from $600!

          No, the prices are kept sky high to keep you signed up on a long contract. That’s the only reason.

          If Motorola were selling you a nice smartphone for $99 direct (which they clearly could, they only have one board in them and a $4 display, after all) you wouldn’t find that 2 year contract enticing at all.

          Those devices are made in very high volume. The android phones, they don’t even have to pay for the OS. Saving hundreds of millions of dollars on that.

          The real solution would be for carriers to get out of the hardware business and let the open market make and sell the phones with no activation commission. Prices would decline, service would improve, choices would expand greatly.

          The Iphone was the FIRST phone that was what customers wanted. Every other phone was what carriers wanted, even today.

          Remember how Verizon crippled all those camera phones by disabling the USB from transferring pictures? The only way you could get your pictures out of the phone was by paying them! When the ability to transfer files to and from the phone was put there by the manufacturer.

          The carriers involvement in the hardware distorts the market badly. The sooner they are out of the hardware business the better.

  2. Boehme417 says:

    1. Do people shop in those Best Buy mobile stores? I never see people in the one near me. I know I’ll never buy a phone there.

    2. Two(ish) new Best Buy stores recently opened fairly close to me. One is a new store for the area, and the other is a store that relocated a few hundred yards for a much larger space. I’m confused.

    • homehome says:

      1) the best buy mobile stores from what I saw make good profit, they’re not breaking records, but I have not seen many that are losing money, because of their low cost and contracts they tend to make profit easier than regular stores.

      2) if they are opening new stores in your area, they either must still be making money or 1 isn’t and is gonna get sacked.

  3. buzz86us says:

    I always thought Best Buy was an ironic name for that store but it would suck if they went out of business where else would I shop for stuff before placing the order at newegg?

    • Latentius says:

      You actually can find good deals, occasionally. Luckily, I have one on hand right now because I was just looking for such an example earlier today for someone else.

      Seagate Baracuda 3TB, Model STBD3000100
      Best Buy: $179.99
      Newegg.com: $249.99
      http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Seagate+-+Barracuda+3TB+Internal+Serial+ATA+Hard+Drive+for+Desktops/3371132.p?id=1218396591168&skuId=3371132
      http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148907&Tpk=STBD3000100

      Now, this is more the exception than the rule, but it just goes to show that occasionally, they can be competitively priced. The bad part is that such deals are pretty hit-and-miss, so it’s not like you can expect a whole category of products to always be cheaper.

      • MeowMaximus says:

        The problem id if you actually bought this from WorstBuy, you would end up with a box with a brick in it. Then, someone from Freak Squad would offer to “Optimize” your brick for $59.99.

        • Latentius says:

          I get it. You have an irrational hatred of Best Buy. Care to grow up and act like an adult now?

          I’ve bought my last two hard drives from Best Buy, actually. No bricks to be found, thank you very much. Geek Squad would never try to “optimize” a blank hard drive. You’re just being ridiculous. The clerk might ask if you needed someone to install it, but that’s about it. (And yes, it’s easy to install them yourself, but that also voids your manufacturer’s warranty.)

          Now, granted, I get a better deal on the drive and less hassle when checking out since I’m actually part of Geek Squad. That’s a nice little perk. However, it also lets me know you’re completely full of BS.

          • PlumeNoir - Thank you? No problem! says:

            If it is a hard drive update, Geek Squad replacing the HDD would also void the warranty…so I’m not sure why that was brought up.

            • Latentius says:

              Not true. Geek Squad is authorized by all major brands to service their computers. Besides, if Geek Squad damages your computer while servicing it, they are legally obligated to pay to fix/replace it. Damage it yourself and you’re completely out of luck.

          • MeowMaximus says:

            I don’t have an irrational hatred of Worst Buy. They have screwed me over so many times I have lost count. I know its partly my fault for giving then so many chances to do so, but the day the company finally dies, I will be happy. If you were able to do business with them successfully, consider yourself lucky – and don’t count on it happening again.

          • dobgold says:

            I could find nothing in Seagate’s warranty that states the warranty is voided by installing it yourself. Typical Geek Squad b.s.

      • OutPastPluto says:

        There are plenty of 3TB drives under $200 now. If you aren’t aware of this then you haven’t been looking.

        Cherry picking examples does not make Best Buy any less lame.

    • scoutermac says:

      Frys

    • homehome says:

      If BB goes out of biz, the online stores are going to raise their prices too.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      Micro Center, if there’s one near you.

      Somehow they manage to stock the shelves with stuff at prices that actually do rival online vendors. Sometimes better even. Not sure exactly how…

      The stores can be kind of intimidating to non-computer experts/enthusiasts though. Lots of stuff just in bulk bins, hard drives in OEM packaging, etc. Which is *exactly* the kind of store I want to be in. But you can tell once in a while when someone wandered in there thinking it was going to be like BBY…the bewildered look gives them away.

      • vastrightwing says:

        Ditto. Yep. I’m fortunate to live within 20 mins of one and it’s great. Recently bought a 300Watt powersupply for only $14! Simply amazing.

    • Jawaka says:

      Old meme is old.

  4. Shine-runner says:

    When you treat people like they are stupid zombies and will never learn that what you sold them they didn’t need. I can get product cheaper off the net. What Best Buy has is the chance to provide customer service, instead of helping people because they are trying to provide service, they rip them off by selling them over priced services and products they don’t need.

  5. MaytagRepairman says:

    Closing a Best Buy in Vancouver, WA is a no-brainer. Washington residents would rather drive across the border to Oregon where they have no sales tax.

    • Overheal says:

      Which is a Microcosm for the whole problem, which is that retailers like Newegg and Amazon do not collect any sales taxes: if you can wait a week for your purchase to get there, you save not only because they regularly markup a little bit less to account for smaller overheads but they don’t charge tax either, meaning if its the same product at the same price (like an iPad or something, or any of a number of things which are now going to a UMRP model) You automatically save yourself anywhere from 6-10% in taxes, along with normally free shipping. It’s WONDERFUL for the consumer, except when they realize that’s millions in tax dollars being sucked out of your State, and jobs along with it.

    • kelcema says:

      *living in a fantasy world* …. But, driving across into Oregon and not paying any sort of tax would be illegal. Surely the residents of Clark County wouldn’t do that, and if they do, they will report the purchases to the Washington State Department of Revenue in order to pay the 6.5% state Use Tax on the purchased-in-Oregon items.

      What bugs me is that an Oregon resident can go to Washington and have the sales tax removed from their purchase, but can I go to Oregon and not pay a bottle deposit on a soda at the store? Nope! Heh.

  6. Dr.Wang says:

    A virtual monopoly on brick and mortar retail electronics sales and they still manage to pilot the chain right into the ground. Astounding. They should have canned their CEO looooong time ago.

  7. DogiiKurugaa says:

    I’m amazed the one in my town isn’t on the list. Even during the holidays it was practically a ghost town most of the time when I was in the area. Guess they are giving it a grace period since it only opened like a year ago or so.

  8. Hungry Dog says:

    Sweet, another place to buy cellphones every two years. It’s so hard to find a anyplace everywhere to find a place that sells phones. In Colorado Springs there are only several dozen places to go to, which is quite sad. Apparently this city is the boonies.

    • drjayphd says:

      Any truth to the rumors that helicopter parents actually forced the cancellation of the annual Colorado Springs Easter Smartphone Hunt? I hear one particularly aggressive mom snatched an HTC Generic Uplifting Verb right out of a toddler’s mouth last year.

      • Rexy on a rampage says:

        Sadly, that did indeed happen.

      • Hungry Dog says:

        I am delightfully single and avoid mass crotch fruit gatherings but Easter egg hunts are a competition. How else will kids learn to win if parents don’t continue to raise the bar of excellence.

    • mbz32190 says:

      Exactly what I was thinking. You can buy phones pretty much anywhere…(radio shack, corporate stores, franchised stores, those kiosks inside every large store, prepaid phones at the drug store, oh and yeah, the Internet. I don’t see how Best Buy sees this as an option for future growth, especially when they seem to sell most phones at a loss. How all these cell phone stores still exist puzzles me.

      • regis-s says:

        I’m with you. The mall I go to most often has a BestBuy and a Futureshop (owned by BestBuy). Both with large cellphone departments. Plus about 6 or 8 other cellphone stores/kiosks.

        It’s not even that big a mall compared to some.

  9. ILoveBacon says:

    “We need to focus on internet retailers and matching those prices, and working on providing better customer service.”

    Is that why they decided to close his store? Corporate heard that one of their employees believes in doing things that customers would appreciate, and had to put a stop to it immediately.

  10. TheUncleBob says:

    What all the “Best Buy is DOOMED” articles tend to leave out is that many of these stores that are just now closing were opened as a part of Best Buy’s scorched earth plan of action against Circuit City.

    From my understanding, most of these stores were opened in locations meant to compete directly with a Circuit City store – even if it meant cannibalizing a current Best Buy market.

    Now that Circuit City is no longer competition and many of these property leases are up, Best Buy has decided that it’s time to dump the undesirable stores.

    The expansion of Best Buy Mobile locations really doesn’t have much to do with this. BBM is, from my understanding, one of Best Buy’s most profitable ventures. Expect to see these expanding regardless of what’s going on in Best Buy Prime.

    *Disclaimer – I work for a Best Buy Competitor, so my understanding of all this is second-hand.

    • elangomatt says:

      I don’t know which came first, the Circuit City or Best Buy but the Matteson IL store could be one of those stores you speak of since the two stores used to be pretty close to each other. That particular Best Buy is in a downtrodden area in the shadow of a mall that has long ago seen better days. Can’t say that I’m surprised it isn’t making enough money I guess.

      • philpm says:

        The Kansas City, Kansas store isn’t one of those. It is a new store in a new shopping area. The scuttlebutt around here is that it is getting killed by the proximity of Nebraska Furniture Mart.

    • Latentius says:

      Well, I *do* work for Best Buy…and your story sounds more or less accurate. I don’t know if it was specifically to combat Circuit City, or others were involved, but Best Buy did engage for years in a policy of oversaturating the market. When the economy was great and HDTV was a hot new technology that everyone wanted, this worked out for them. Now that the economy sucks and most people already have an HDTV, this is unsustainable.

    • CPC says:

      Exactly right. The only Best Buy closing in this area was built 5 years ago, 30 FEET from a Circuit City! They even shared a parking lot. Before then, they were half a mile apart.

  11. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    Well, the BB at The Forum in Ft. Myers is what, 8 miles up the freeway from another one at Gulf Coast Town Center? What a surprise they’re closing one.
    Oh, and hey, BB, “SHIP TO STORE” does NOT count as being ‘IN STOCK’ mmm-kay?

    • Free Legal Advice! says:

      There’s an even closer Best Buy at Page Field. Its maybe 4 miles away. The Forum was a product of an overactive housing market that had a lot of potential that wasn’t realized when the housing crash happened. Strangely, the Starbucks at the Forum is one of the busier ones in the county.

  12. scoutermac says:

    I don’t know about all of these locations.. but this one “Chicago (87th & Dan Ryan), IL” is pretty much in the ghetto. This store probably loses more money to theft.

  13. alexwade says:

    My local Best Buy in on the list. It is one of the few Best Buys where the customer is treated like a customer. They would only ask you once for an extended warranty and where never pushy. The employees, though ignorant, where nice. It is also a pretty busy Best Buy. Every time I go, I have to wait in line to check out. Last year I bought a laptop at this Best Buy. It was an old model so it was marked down. Unfortunately, all that was left was “pre-optimized” ones. I made it clear I was only going to pay the advertised price. And the manager gave me that price, no questions asked.

    A 20 minute drive south is another Best Buy. It is a newer one. However, the one in this town is about as popular as rug burn. Quite often there are more people working there than shopping there. Yet my local one, which is busier, is closing.

    I think the decision to close the stores was based mostly on how much of the high-profit junk the store sells. My Best Buy treated customers like customers, it had to go. Knowing Best Buy, they probably thought people in my town aren’t buying enough extended warranties and so it had to go. I do think the one in the town 20 minutes south is staying open because it opened less than 2 years ago. Still, I am convinced my local one is closing because of good customer service.

    • Traveller says:

      Unfortunately it is a business and if they are not making money, or enough money, as a business you need to either figure out how to get more people in the door or close.

      I worked for a company one time (phone company) that was positioning itself based on customer service. Not hard to do when going up against the likes of Qwest, Verizon, and the Bells.

      However, if our price wasn’t lower, people didn’t buy. So you could have the best customer service in the world, but if someone can save $10 online, most (not all) will buy online. There are just not enough people that will shop a business and pay more (even if only a little) if they can get it cheaper elsewhere.

      Convenience is the only thing really going for Best Buy. They have too much overhead to compete with online even before the whole sales tax thing.

      • Latentius says:

        Too true. The store I work for–despite having its share of irate customers–actually has some of the best Consumer Satisfaction Index scores in the region (CSI is an in-company system). We have a relatively high attach rate for Black Tie Protection, and one of the region’s highest-rated (not to mention fastest turnaround) Geek Squad departments….and yet despite all this, the store is failing to meet revenue expectations.

        Just like you say, it doesn’t matter how good the service is; if people can find it marginally cheaper online, they’ll do that. They have no moral qualms with coming into a store, taking an hour of a salesperson’s time, test-driving all the models, and then not giving anything back for it because they can save ten bucks.

    • Overheal says:

      Only asked you once for the “….Warranty” (It’s Accidental Cover. Warranties are Warranties, and don’t cover things like power surges and coffee), and you bought an old laptop below cost and didn’t pay the cost of labor that was already associated with it. They made a loss on your purchase that day and you wonder why the location went under.

      Do people really think the laptop itself is the profitable unit? When you go in there to buy a laptop, nothing else, and then charge it to AMEX which levees the retailer a good chunk of % just to take your money, the store is lucky if it breaks even.

  14. MattAlbie says:

    They’re closing the Best Buy in the inner harbor in Baltimore, which I’m shocked they hadn’t done prior to this. Nobody buys anything from there, ever. One time the employee toilet clogged and our GM had to get it fixed, and he was freaking out because that ate dramatically into the little profits that they make in a month.

    It’s also a massively high-theft store, too, being that it’s only a few blocks away from this place called the Lexington Market, a place where they busted an illegal gun operator not too long ago.

    • RavenWarrior says:

      Agreed, I’d hate to imagine trying to buy anything more than a movie or video game from that location and having to get out of Baltimore with it. Just never made sense to me for there to be one.

      • MattAlbie says:

        Once every few weeks, maybe, we’d get someone who would buy a TV. Most of the time it’s little things, and then all the theft.

    • bhr says:

      You know it’s not really near Lexington Market, as city distances go right? It’s over on Market isn’t it? While Lexington Market (which is hardly a den of criminals and thieves anyway) is the opposite side over near MLK.

      The problem with the location is it is over by the touristy crap rather than any big box friendly area.

      And let me speak again on behalf of Lexington Market, which has the Dental, Medical and Law schools as it’s neighbors to the East, the Hippodrome to the south and the State offices a couple blocks away. Don’t get me wrong, Baltimore has plenty of dangerous areas, especially at night, but the idea that Lexington Market is dangerous (or anywhere near Market) is from the suburban kids whose parents pay to send them to Hopkins or the banker types who move from the suburbs to Canton or Fells and never go anywhere north of Fayette.

      • MattAlbie says:

        It’s within walking distance. The Best Buy is on Pratt.

        I used to live just off MLK up near Bolton Hill, so I’d have to drive past the Lexington Market on my way too and from work. It isn’t exactly the safest area in the world. Is it the most dangerous area in the city? No, but you couldn’t pay me to walk past there at any time during the day or especially at night :)

    • Beef Supreme says:

      Almost all of that retail at the Inner Harbor is terrible. I worked down there several years ago, and it was all theft then. You run into the shoplifters after work and they’d try to sell you your merchandise back.

  15. IraAntelope says:

    do you think this might improve their customer service approach? No? Me too…

    • timp says:

      I garee that what has destroyed their business is the approach to cust.svc. Or perhaps I should say LACK of cust, svc.

      Prices are not that great either.

      Their deceptiuve practices, such as having two separate web sites with different pricing was a real kick in the groin too. If that is how they treat their customers, it’s no wonder their business is dwindling.

    • Bionic Data Drop says:

      This. I WANT to like Best Buy. I’ve tried and tried to have a business relationship with them. There are 3 Best Buys in my area and I’ll be damned if all 3 haven’t irritated the hell out of me. If I’m ever desperate enough to go to a Best Buy I have to take a deep breath before I go in and try really hard not to get annoyed. The newest thing I’ve noticed at my closest Best Buy is the cashier will ask you if you want a Best Buy card. Then before you swipe your debit card, the machine asks you again and you have to say no…again. I just flat out had it with their employees harassing me for warranties and credit cards I don’t want.

      They need to completely revamp their customer service. If they tried to have their customers leave happy and not completely annoyed, they might see more customers.

  16. Traveller says:

    Here is the deal, the low margin stuff at Best Buy (tvs, computers, etc.) are going online more and more. These products also take the most floor space.

    On the other hand high margin stuff like cables (90% markup, and I know this from a friend of mine who works there and they get store brand stuff at cost), cell phones (look at all the kiosks and stores for those you see, in high rent areas like malls), is where they make their money.

    If they open these mini stores, only sell the highest margin stuff, which also happens to be stuff that people will buy on impulse (phones), or stuff that is convenient to buy in person (like cables), they will make more profit with less overhead costs (store space and employees).

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      Forget what your friend pays…for cables and such, go look at http://www.monoprice.com

      It’s retarded what people will pay for cables. A 5 foot HDMI cable at BBY might be like $40. At MP it’s $3.30. A 25′ cat5E ethernet cable is also $3.30 – and probably ten times that at BBY. Et al. Not like any B&M is much better when it comes to that.

  17. annecat says:

    The Landmark Mall one (which isn’t actually in Landmark Mall) was in a completely ridiculous location to begin with. Up on a hill off on a side street, visible from none of the major roads around it.

    • phrekyos says:

      Not to mention it somehow had all the worst employees. Inconvenient and ghetto location, combined with terrible service. No point in going there when you can take a short trip to the one where POTUS shops (har har).

    • czechyoself says:

      You’re absolutely right. I didn’t realize the Landmark store existed until I saw it on the list above, and I drive through the area on a regular basis.

  18. philpm says:

    This latest set of closings now makes two in our area. The one down the street was one of the two closed at the beginning of the year (no big loss, it was old and terrible anyway). I’m not happy about this second one closing though. It was probably the best one we had locally, plus the better of the two that had a musical instrument area. That I’m sad about.

    • nishioka says:

      > plus the better of the two that had a musical instrument area

      Better off going to a real music instrument shop anyway.

      • philpm says:

        True, and I do most of the time, but BBY can have some really good deals occasionally. I bought a new-in-box Roland Cube 20X amp for $70 from them not too long ago.

  19. Dave on bass says:

    The Landmark Mall store (really, across the street from said mall) was a CompUSA before – I think lack of success has as much to do with the location as anything else, at that one; tucked up in a weird place that’s not the most visible.

  20. LanMan04 says:

    Well, they’re closing the two stores closest to where I work AND where I live.

    Where will I get my $30 HDMI cables now?!?!

    • Latentius says:

      Newegg and Amazon both offer plenty of HDMI cables in the $30-$70 range, if you really want them.

      Or, you can go to Best Buy and *not* go out of your way to get the overpriced brands, and instead go for a $13 cable. They do exist, you know…

    • gman863 says:

      Stock up at the liquidation sale. It’s likely they’ll have a deal such as “Monster Cables: Were $75/each, now 2 for $150″

      /s

  21. FLConsumer says:

    C’mon Best Buy. Customer service is the way you can differentiate yourself from the internet, and customer service is exactly what Best Buy does the WORST.

    I needed to do a few price comparisons on appliances last week, stopped by Best Buy because it was next to 2 competitors. Not only did Best Buy have the highest prices, the damn DirecTV saleshole wouldn’t leave me alone.

    • Latentius says:

      Just so you know, the DirecTV reps don’t actually work for Best Buy.

      If one is being particularly bothersome, please do let management know. If you allow yourself to be that upset, but you don’t bother telling anyone who could make any changes, then nothing will ever change, and you’re just setting yourself up for further aggravation.

  22. Extended-Warranty says:

    ***”Ultimately, our tipster doesn’t think mini-Best Buys are the answer:

    ‚ÄúI highly doubt that the surrounding stores will get that much of a boost, and they shouldnt be focusing in on Radio Shack. We need to focus on internet retailers and matching those prices, and working on providing better customer service.”***

    What does this person’s opinion have anything to do with anything?

    Anyways, from reading comments on multiple “news” sites. It appears that many of these locations closed were in poor areas. i’m pretty sure if I owned a business that had say 10 locations, and the one in the poor area was losing me money because of low sales and theft, I’d close it down too.

  23. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Hmm, ours isn’t on the list. I’m surprised; our PO is closing. I figured we’d be a ghost town inside of a year. :P

    At least if I need an emergency, overpriced cable, I can zip on down there still! *eye roll*

  24. IraAntelope says:

    do you think this might improve their customer service approach? No? Me too…

  25. Robofish says:

    really the inner harbor store? Hmmm, that’s one that might have been better off as a smaller store.

  26. vliam says:

    tiny Best Buys—the small-format Best Buy Mobile stores that sell only phones.

    We already have one of those. It’s called Radio Shack

    • Latentius says:

      If mobile-centric stores are so unnecessary and unwanted, why is it that the Best Buy Mobile department/standalone stores tend to be some of the most profitable in the company?

      Seriously, they’re not opening new stores just for the hell of it. They’re opening them specifically because they make money for the company. You might not personally care for them, but apparently a lot of other people do.

  27. Jawaka says:

    “I highly doubt that the surrounding stores will get that much of a boost, and they shouldnt be focusing in on Radio Shack. We need to focus on internet retailers and matching those prices, and working on providing better customer service.”

    Are you going to take less pay and benefits to achieve that goal? Because that’s pretty much the only way that you’ll achieve that goal.

  28. codymc says:

    damn it — the one near my house is not on the list. I was hoping it would close and we could get a gym or something useful in that space.

  29. Kuri says:

    So, how are those tax breaks for “job creators” working out?

  30. gman863 says:

    Postpaid (contract) cell phones are likely one of the highest profit-per-square-foot items out there. Signing or renewing a two year contract can equal up to $200 profit per line, even with a “free” or heavily discounted new phone.

    Add to this an 800-1000% markup on cellular accessories, and it’s not much of a stretch to capture up to $300 in profit per phone activated.

    Similar high-profit deals exist in other subscription-based services such as DirecTV, Comcast, AT&T U-verse, etc.

    Some financial analysts feel activation-based income like this is the only thing keeping Radio Shack in business (keeping in mind Tandy killed off Incredile Universe and McDuff’s over a decade ago).

    Bottom line: I suspect most of the 50,000+ SF Best Buys will be downsized or moved as leases come up for renewal. Unless they make it worthwhile (lower prices, better service) for customers to choose BB over Amazon, what’s the point of running a showroom for other merchants?

  31. scoutermac says:

    When I worked for Walmart back in college.. I was told that Walmart wanted to put Toys R Us out of business, which they nearly did. Then I was told their next goal was to put Best Buy out of business. I was told they ultimately wanted to carry everything Best Buy carried. Which tells me Best Buy is going to have to compete directly with Walmart prices if they want to stay in business.

  32. Yorick says:

    The Biddeford ME location already has a shuttered Lowe’s box. if one more big-box closes it’ll be like an abandoned mall.

  33. ancientone567 says:

    These sales are always crap. I have been to several and the prices were not good. You can get a deal on wires if that is your thing.

  34. britswim04 says:

    There’s EIGHT Best Buys (plus at least three BBY Mobiles) within 20 minutes driving distance of Allen, TX, but they’re not closing any of those? Preposterous.

  35. dark_inchworm says:

    I truly feel bad for those losing their jobs at the Antioch, TN location, but I can’t say I’m surprised at all. The area is horrible and businesses are darting out all the time.

  36. OutPastPluto says:

    I was expecting to see my town in that list. The Best Buy’s that have been recently built are smaller and inferior. They have such awful selection that I am more likely to drive extra to get to an older Best Buy (or just shop a competitor).

    They need to knock these newer lamer Best Buys down and start over.

    The store should be worth the drive.