5 Reasons Why Best Buy Is Failing
April 30, 2012
Electronics retailer Best Buy is not doing well and there are many reasons why this large chain may not exist in the next year or two. The problems with this once booming retailer hit me with a ton of bricks this weekend when I visited the store to purchase a new iPad for my mom.
First, we had a hard time simply finding anyone to help us, but when we did the young man offered up more than he could deliver. I asked the sales rep. what was in stock and without checking a single computer or scanning a single barcode, he quickly said they not only had all new iPads in stock, but they had a lot of iPad 2′s in stock as well. We were delighted to hear what we wanted was in stock, so the young man wrote up a package pick-up slip and told us to go stand in a customer pick-up line. We waited several minutes to pick up our iPad only to be told by the cashier that the iPad we selected wasn’t in stock after all. The young woman asked if we would consider buying a different iPad and although we were disappointed, we agreed. Another young man was sent into the stock room to locate our second choice and a few minutes later, he returned and said they didn’t have that option in stock either. I then asked the big question: What do you have in stock? Their response was shocking: We don’t know.
This brings us to the second reason why Best Buy is failing – they have a horrible business plan. There is no reason why a business like Best Buy can’t have up-to-date inventory information readily available at the tip of their fingers. There is also no reason why a customer should have to get the run around when trying to buy a product. It’s simply unacceptable to send a customer into a long customer pickup line (please note that this line is the same one used for repairs, returns, and product redemptions and is separate from the traditional checkout line) to pay for and receive a product that should easily be purchased and delivered in that same department.
This brings us to our third reason why Best Buy is failing: inadequate checkout options for high-priced items. I’ve purchased items far more expensive than an iPad before, but Best Buy was by far the most complicated and ineffective. In our quest to buy an iPad, my mom and I headed over to Target and it was a completely different experience. We approached the customer service representative in the electronics department and asked if he had iPads in stock. He took out a gadget, scanned the appropriate bar code and in 3 seconds told us how many he had in stock and in what color. We picked the one we wanted, he got it for us, and we checked out right there in the electronics department. The entire process took less than 10 minutes.
Unfortunately, my mom had a gift card for Best Buy and she was determined to use it out of fear that business was literally going to fold overnight. So we headed back over to Best Buy so she could use her gift card and that’s when we encountered the fourth reason why Best Buy is failing: poor selection. First, she wanted to buy a white Wii, but they only had black in stock. Then she wanted a 3D movie, but there were only a handful to choose from and they were all made for TV movies like Dinosaurs and Ultimate Wave. Then she wanted to find accessories for the Wii remotes, but again, there was nothing available. We walked around the store trying to find something to buy and we had an incredibly hard time. Best Buy just didn’t seem to have the selection of products that it used to.
Finally, we visited BestBuy.com to see if what she wanted was available online and that’s when we encountered the fifth reason why Best Buys is failing: they have a horrible website! Some items can be shipped, while others can only be picked up in the store. But the worst part is, the store pickup doesn’t necessarily guarantee availability. You get to redeem an item, but if the item is no longer in stock by the time you get to the store to pick it up, the jokes on you.
With so many other amazing online retailers like Amazon available to consumers, some offering free shipping, why would anyone want to shop at BestBuy.com? They won’t and that is why those who run this company should be very concerned about its future.
In short, we were very unhappy with Best Buy and we have a feeling we’re not alone. Only time will tell whether this company will indeed fail, but the odds are not in their favor.
To recap, the five reasons why Best Buy is failing are:
- Poor customer service
- Horrible business plan
- Inadequate checkout for high-priced items
- Poor selection
- Horrible website