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New Best Buy (BBY +0.5%) CEO Hubert Joly says he will take to the floors of stores in Minnesota...

New Best Buy (BBY +0.5%) CEO Hubert Joly says he will take to the floors of stores in Minnesota to help combat criticism that he doesn't understand the finer details of retail. The turnaround specialist may be rolling up his sleeves in a mostly symbolic move, but after the retailer misfired with its focus for the last two holiday seasons a bit of face-to-face with consumers roaming Best Buy stores won't hurt.
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Comments (5)
  • surfnspy
    , contributor
    Comments (415) | Send Message
    IMO having a "retail" background doesn't bother me. I think in this case it's a positive. If he is able to leverage his hospitality background in the way BBY deals with customers it could be a huge plus. People are tired of being shamelessly "up sold" a $35 service contract for a $100 pair of headphones.
    4 Sep 2012, 11:43 AM Reply Like
  • nanscott100
    , contributor
    Comments (7) | Send Message
    It's ALWAYS good to get down in the weeds.
    However, I suggest that he should try a few unannounced visits in t- shirt and jeans to get a good read on employees activities and customer service.
    Or try something like the TV show, undercover boss.
    That's how you get great information for a transformation.
    4 Sep 2012, 04:31 PM Reply Like
  • billddrummer
    , contributor
    Comments (1744) | Send Message
    Why visit stores just in Minnesota?


    Doesn't the company have a fleet of jets (owned by one of Schulze's companies, I believe)?


    I would venture that most of the Minnesota stores are run reasonably well. When HO is just a quick commute away, you never know when someone from headquarters might not just 'stop in to poke around.'


    It would make more impact if he visited stores in, say, California, Texas, Florida or New York--all places that have strong regional players that provide meaningful competition.


    I'm not impressed.


    Disclosure: Long BBY with shares purchased through the company's ESPP.


    Former employee.
    4 Sep 2012, 09:26 PM Reply Like
  • ChiquiLion
    , contributor
    Comments (24) | Send Message
    You make a good point, Bill. Maybe visiting the better run stores is a start, but he would need to dig deeper, into the worst performing stores, to actually get a feel for what should be changed about the company. It's been a long time since you could say a visit to one store was as good as visiting all of them. There are so many different styles, sizes, variants...each with it's own individual strengths and "opportunities", as they say.


    Another good plan, might be to have a select staff that gleans the Internet chats and boards (such as this one) for potential insights into the business that at a higher lever he might not be privy to.
    5 Sep 2012, 02:04 AM Reply Like
  • billddrummer
    , contributor
    Comments (1744) | Send Message
    Thanks for the kind words. I believe the company continues to use professional shoppers to test sales skills of the floor staff.


    When I worked there, they were called 'mystery shoppers.' You were graded on everything, from how you wore your uniform to how you reacted when they said they wouldn't be buying.


    The problem with mystery shops is that the shopper knows no purchase will happen, while the sales associate has no clue, and could lose a legitimate sales opportunity while dealing with the hired help.


    Perhaps a combination would be effective. But I like your idea as well, to troll boards like this one to get ideas.


    After all, there is a place for bricks and mortar CE retail. Execution is the determining factor for success. And good ideas breed better execution.
    5 Sep 2012, 12:16 PM Reply Like
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