That’s the word from the Wall Street Journal in a report that says Best Buy has a “Solution Central” table filled with Geek Squad employees at a test location in Minnesota. It’s similar to the Apple Store Genius Bar. Best Buy is also trying methods to let customers pay at several locations, rather than wait in a check out line.
Best Buy’s interim CEO, Mike Mikan, says he is calling the Apple Store-like efforts “Best Buy 2.0.” Among the changes is an effort to have lots of employees around to help people.
I can relate to that. Finding help at my local Best Buy store is a difficult task. What’s worse, is the pricing. How can a store that calls itself ‘Best Buy’ be high priced on just about everything? Have you priced HDMI cables there? Last I looked, some 4 foot HDMI cables were fifty dollars, while similar cables can be found online for under fifteen dollars. When I was shopping for a new flat screen TV, Amazon was almost a thousand dollars less for the same exact product, and of course, no tax. I’d love to buy locally, but at the current Best Buy pricing, there is no chance.
Of course Apple products cost the same pretty much everywhere, and Best Buy sells a lot of iPhones and iPads, but Best Buy needs to make some dramatic changes in employee availability and pricing to stay afloat. The company has already announced plans to close 50 stores, and convert 60 stores to the new Best Buy 2.0 format. That leaves almost a thousand Best Buy stores that are still working the old way.
How about you? Will having a Genius Bar clone and more employees get you shopping at Best Buy? Or is online shopping your preference?