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Best Buy to Massively Cut Workforce Due to Shopping Behavior Changes


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My local store just became an "online pick up location" as of today with most PT employees being let go & given severance packages. I don't know what this means for the whole of the company or workforce however.

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I still buy things from Best Buy quite a bit. They have good pricing on a lot of stuff pretty consistently. But yeah, it's always just online orders that I'm picking up. I really cannot imagine a scenario anymore where I'm going to Best Buy just to browse.

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It's really interesting what is happening right now. A friend of mine owns a retail shopping center and built out one space into a massive commercial kitchen which he rents out to multiple restaurants in the area which have moved to delivery only. I think you'll see a lot of retail turn into online store pickup locations, and in that model you can really shrink the footprint of the store, you can shrink the number of parking spaces needed, all sorts of stuff. 

 

Will be wild to see what retail looks like in even 5 years.

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Doesn’t surprise me. 
 

I was always amazed they lasted longer than Circuit City anyways. But it always seemed like my experiences with both retailers were flipped from other accounts. I always got much better service in CC compare to Bestbuy, there in BB they had become the masters of looking busy to avoid helping anyone. 

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1 minute ago, Spawn_of_Apathy said:

Doesn’t surprise me. 
 

I was always amazed they lasted longer than Circuit City anyways. But it always seemed like my experiences with both retailers were flipped from other accounts. I always got much better service in CC compare to Bestbuy, there in BB they had become the masters of looking busy to avoid helping anyone. 

 

I think CC was originally commission-based with knowledgeable people and then just went straight hourly toward the end. So I guess it depends when you were shopping there.

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6 minutes ago, Jason said:

 

I think CC was originally commission-based with knowledgeable people and then just went straight hourly toward the end. So I guess it depends when you were shopping there.


interesting. I never knew they were commission based. I shopped at Fry’s a bunch and they definitely were. If you talked to an employee about a battery they’d write up a sales order for it so their name was associated with your $5 purchase. Never had that at CC. Just people always willing to help me if I needed it. 
 

BB by comparison always had the “not my department” attitude. 

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Last time I went into a Best Buy was a long time ago. I remember there used to be racks of CDs back in the day, now there are like two of them way in the back. If anything it had just turned into like a phone demo place. I'm actually kind of surprised it's taken this long.

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1 hour ago, Spawn_of_Apathy said:

I was always amazed they lasted longer than Circuit City anyways. But it always seemed like my experiences with both retailers were flipped from other accounts. I always got much better service in CC compare to Bestbuy, there in BB they had become the masters of looking busy to avoid helping anyone. 

 

Best Buy went out of their way to run Circuit City out of business and it worked. You shouldn't be amazed they lasted longer, they literally set out to do that. :p

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1 hour ago, sblfilms said:

It's really interesting what is happening right now. A friend of mine owns a retail shopping center and built out one space into a massive commercial kitchen which he rents out to multiple restaurants in the area which have moved to delivery only. I think you'll see a lot of retail turn into online store pickup locations, and in that model you can really shrink the footprint of the store, you can shrink the number of parking spaces needed, all sorts of stuff. 

 

Will be wild to see what retail looks like in even 5 years.

Reminds me, a friend of mine who had extensive experience at Amazon operations got recruited for a similar gig where they set up fast food and a few other chain restaurants in a central warehouse location and then would use one of those apps to deliver the food to those who order. I don't have anything to base this on, but I imagine that people like getting mcdonald's delivered which kind of sucks but :shrug:

1 hour ago, Jason said:

 

I think CC was originally commission-based with knowledgeable people and then just went straight hourly toward the end. So I guess it depends when you were shopping there.

I know of several people who had their college completely paid for by circuit city on top of what they made working the floor. And many of them aren't that much older than me, maybe 7-8 years older, putting them at 40 or so at most. (Had one of them argue against student debt relief and brought that shit up)

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1 hour ago, Anathema- said:

The future of retail is a walkable town center with boutique shop aesthetics attached to an Amazon warehouse. 

 

10 minutes ago, SoberChef said:

THAT is seriously fucking frightening!

There is no future for traditional retail outside of  fresh grocery/pharmacy items. Even those are on the clock. They treat their employees like garbage. At least Amazon pays more for similar treatment. Nothing of value will be lost.

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Maybe I’m crazy but I imagine there will be a smallish retail boom once going out in public is possible again just because people will be dying to go SOMEWHERE.  How long it lasts and who it helps I don’t know.  I will say personally not even having the option of doing any significant retail shopping makes the idea of keeping this going indefinitely very unappealing.  

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People like going out and doing things. Retail isn’t going away, but it is changing in fundamental ways. Who knows where it shakes out, but the companies that crack the code will make a lot of money. Same thing I’m seeing in cinema.

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1 minute ago, sblfilms said:

People like going out and doing things. Retail isn’t going away, but it is changing in fundamental ways. Who knows where it shakes out, but the companies that crack the code will make a lot of money. Same thing I’m seeing in cinema.

 

One issue for Best Buy is probably where they are on their leases. They'll need retail space but probably not as much as before. But the buildings they're currently in tend to be completely unamenable to being subdivided. So if they're stuck in those leases for a long time then they have a problem. If they're close to over, or can get out without a huge penalty and shift to smaller spaces, it's probably not a huge deal.

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41 minutes ago, Jason said:

 

One issue for Best Buy is probably where they are on their leases. They'll need retail space but probably not as much as before. But the buildings they're currently in tend to be completely unamenable to being subdivided. So if they're stuck in those leases for a long time then they have a problem. If they're close to over, or can get out without a huge penalty and shift to smaller spaces, it's probably not a huge deal.


I would guess landlords are going to need to reassess how they work leases. I think hybrid rates will be a thing where stores shrink the storefront and rectilinear space as basically warehouse/distribution space for online order delivery. The commercial real estate apocalypse goes hand in hand with the retail apocalypse, so they will have to work together to survive.

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1 minute ago, Uaarkson said:

Big box stores are dying. I really don’t see a future for those buildings. You can’t replace all of them with warehousing.

 

Yeah that’s my kink, talk dirty to me.

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5 minutes ago, Uaarkson said:

Big box stores are dying. I really don’t see a future for those buildings. You can’t replace all of them with warehousing.


Given how quickly we are building more distribution centers, I think you actually can.

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I really enjoy shopping at Best Buy and do most of my electronics shopping there. I actually read years ago -- maybe two or three -- that they were doing pretty well in this Amazon world where online shopping has gotten so much bigger. So I don't know if they're doing badly, or if it's just the realities of less in-foot traffic plus the pandemic.

 

The Best Buy credit card has also been hugely beneficial as it's so easy to rack up gift certificates.

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12 minutes ago, SaysWho? said:

I really enjoy shopping at Best Buy and do most of my electronics shopping there. I actually read years ago -- maybe two or three -- that they were doing pretty well in this Amazon world where online shopping has gotten so much bigger. So I don't know if they're doing badly, or if it's just the realities of less in-foot traffic plus the pandemic.

 

The Best Buy credit card has also been hugely beneficial as it's so easy to rack up gift certificates.

 

Any big electronics purchase I try to do through Best Buy for that reason. I don't have the CC but I'm a 'member' or whatever. Seems like I get a new gift certificate for past purchases every few months. Feels like free money.

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23 minutes ago, GeneticBlueprint said:

 

Any big electronics purchase I try to do through Best Buy for that reason. I don't have the CC but I'm a 'member' or whatever. Seems like I get a new gift certificate for past purchases every few months. Feels like free money.

Amazon credit card does the same thing. Actually I rake up more cash back through Amazon because I'm not limited to just electronics. I get 5% back on all purchases sometimes higher depending on the promos they have sometimes.

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5 minutes ago, The def star said:

Amazon credit card does the same thing. Actually I rake up more cash back through Amazon because I'm not limited to just electronics. I get 5% back on all purchases sometimes higher depending on the promos they have sometimes.

 

I have the Amazon CC as well. Best Buy has worked out for higher returns for me for whatever reason.

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42 minutes ago, b_m_b_m_b_m said:

I tend to shop at the last minute so I like doing retail if I have a rough idea of what I want. But I'm an old man at heart

 

Still miss Radio Shack for those odd occasions where I need an RCA to HDMI to Coax to Ethernet to Propane adapter, and I need it now.

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The mall near my hometown was largely destroyed by a tornado last March. Best Buy and Barnes & Noble were completely wiped out. Both businesses declined to reopen. And due to covid, reconstruction has slowed and the mall still isn’t open and no time table for when it will be. 

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On 2/12/2021 at 7:15 PM, Signifyin(g)Monkey said:

Once VR headsets become popular enough everything will move to online pickup and people will log in to the online vr metaverse to get their ‘front-end’ social experience, whether it’s ‘retail browsing’ or ‘restaurant service’.

Before you know it we will be using Surrogate robots to interact with the real world!

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On 2/12/2021 at 11:15 PM, Signifyin(g)Monkey said:

Once VR headsets become popular enough everything will move to online pickup and people will log in to the online vr metaverse to get their ‘front-end’ social experience, whether it’s ‘retail browsing’ or ‘restaurant service’.

Apple is working on one now!

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