Founder and ex-Chairman hoping to take Best Buy private: right idea, wrong guy?
A few short years back, Best Buy was on the "best-of" preso list of many retail experts. Now the same folks are predicting its early demise. This is the nature of the current fast-changing retail environment.
Much has been made of 'showrooming', Amazon and Apple all taking sales away from Best Buy and driving down margins. However, it still has critical mass, a large number of healthy stores and a sizable shopping segment that (for now) still prefers shopping in-store. There is hope and some space to work with. But the current team seems too inwardly focused and caught up in its own tweaks and executive issues.
Best Buy needs a substantial rethinking of retail and its role. It needs a new inspired vision, not just endless cost-cuts. Going private would be a productive, supporting move to help lay the foundation for Best Buy 2.0. But the question remains: is the founder and recent Chairman of the Board (ousted by the current Board) the right catalyst for substantive change?
Here is a good piece by Marina Strauss of the Globe & Mail: