The writing is on the wall with these stores that don’t even know where the clearance items they feature on line are when you show up at the store with evidence that they have these items in stock on the web from their inventory system. CompUSA’s failure proved that this kind of retail store is doomed even with good, knowledgeable staff. With the uninterested fast food staff they have, they are done. The fact is, though, they have to find a way to succeed because these stores in many communities represents the only path to the middle class through technology. Their small focused kiosks and micro stores like Best Buy Mobile probably do a better margin than the giant warehouses where people are ironically given too many choices with little substantial guidance. My favorite Best Buy apparition are the gadget dispenser in airports where you can purchase some fun without the hassle of parking, wandering around a converted aircraft hangar, asking questions of semiliterates blue polo shirts. I would reorganize the stores into half the size with focus (Best Buy Nest, Best Buy Dorm, Best Buy Man Cave, Best Buy Obsessive Compulsive Cleaner), curate the stock to best of breed, and educate the staff -create technology academies where they can work to associates and bachelor degrees in electrician technology, computer repair, software engineering, electrical engineering, and business management, open to the public for a fee. They have to start thinking out of the big box or they will be extincted.
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