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 2:00:40 PM
I agree. Back before online retailing, Circuit City actually had nicer stores and more knowledgeable salespeople while Best Buy was more like a circus. I think that CC shot themselves in the foot when they fired anybody who knew anything about what they were selling. Now we have HHGregg moving in and they are even more ridiculous than BB.
Even when online retailing started to get big, CC had the best in-store pickup service for things that I needed right away.
RE: best buy is never the best buy
11/7/2011 7:11:29 PM
Ugh no way, Circuit City was the WORST. Maybe that's why Best Buy is still around and they aren't? Seriously are you kidding me! I cannot even frame into words my loathing for that establishment. Remember the "Assurance Solutions" insurance scam? They would sell $200 warranties with new TV's and then purposely and blatantly sell that warranty contract to a company who would NOT honor it.
"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
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