Best Buy UK Goes Under
November 7, 2011 12:05 PM
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Best Buy purchases Carphone Warehouse portion of Best Buy Mobile U.S. operations
The consumer electronics market is still feeling the pinch of the poor global economy. Best Buy was able to help put
Circuit City out of business
in the U.S. a few years ago, but it is now facing its own mortality in the United Kingdom. The Best Buy UK stores were a joint venture with Best Buy and Carphone Warehouse. Carphone Warehouse is a seller of mobile phones and other devices in the UK.
Best Buy UK stores are being shut down because the business continues to lose money. The losses before tax and interest in the six months that ended on September 30 amount to £46.7 million, almost twice the £28.8 million loss the previous year.
Interestingly, customers found the stores very appealing and gave Best Buy UK locations high marks for customer service.
Carphone Warehouse Group CEO Roger Taylor said, “The eleven Best Buy UK ‘Big Box’ stores have performed exceptionally at the level of customer satisfaction, but they do not have the national reach to achieve scale and brand economies. Due to the lack of visibility of an acceptable rate of return on historical and future potential investment, we have decided against rolling out more ‘Big Box’ stores and we will be closing our existing stores, subject to consultation with our employees.”
The first of the Best Buy UK stores was in Thurrock, Essex and opened in May of 2010. Carphone Warehouse will now expand the Wireless World stores to offer more products with a new range of connected devices. Best Buy has also announced that it will be purchasing the Carphone Warehouse holdings in the U.S. mobile phone joint venture. The purchase of the Carphone Warehouse portion of that venture will cost Best Buy $1.3 billion.
Analyst Anthony Chukjumba from BB&T Capital Markets said, "For Best Buy to be able to no longer have to share 50 percent of the profits of a high-margin, fast-growing business with Carphone Warehouse, from my perspective, is a real positive. (But) it is not a game-changer. Best Buy still has the same challenges they did 24 hours ago -- fairly weak product cycle particularly in flat-panel TVs, increasing competition from Amazon, probably too much retail square footage."
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RE: best buy is never the best buy
11/7/2011 12:59:33 PM
Of course web stores can sell things cheaper than brick and mortar stores. The question is where is anyone going to work in high school or college if stores like this close all over the place.
Personally I'll spend a few extra dollars to support the local economy. I agree its hard not to shop at Best Buy with Circuit City going out of business. But there are other places that sell TVs, mobile phones, and laptops.
"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
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