Best Buy Layoffs and A Sign Of The Future?

Best Buy Lays off 400+ people, closes stores.

I know, I’ve been of the opinion Best Buy is in trouble.  I’ve agreed with those various analysts on the issues.  So on the surface, the fact I’m not surprised by this is, well, not surprising.  I figured it was coming.  In fact, I figure more will come.

But what is interesting is how Best Buy seems to be putting more focus on Best Buy Mobile, smaller, “Kioskesque” stores.  A focus on smaller stores, more on mobile and related gadgets?  There’s a lot to that . . .

  • First of all, this seems like a viable strategy.  Focused, organized, standardized stores that are small and cheaper to run make sense.
  • Secondly, these stores could be easily resupplied from a central location (suggesting to me that, much like the Safeway delivery service, stores could serve as warehouses).  This could mean big stores being repurposes may be a logical focus (and may limit layoffs).
  • Third, these smaller stories could get more easily set up or torn down as needed.  Limited risk, faster adaption, and faster to take on rivals.  These stores could even be piloted easy.
  • Fourth, and this may seem out there, but in an age where you have vending machines with iPods and DSes in them, I could see experiments with a Best Buy vending system.  If we’ve got automated convenience stores, Redbox, and iPod dispensers, this isn’t too outrageous.  Oh, and it’s 24/7 . . .

Steven Savage