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Best Buy Chairman and Founder Resigns Ahead of Schedule 322

lightbox32 writes with the news as carried by MSNBC that "Best Buy's chairman and founder Richard Schulze has announced his resignation from the board of directors Thursday a year ahead of the planned transition at the helm of the struggling retailer. The resignation of Dunn and Schulze come after Best Buy reported a quarterly loss of $1.7 billion after same-store sales dropped 5 percent." This sounds like a bad omen for people who get their electronic fix there. For all its imperfections and limited range, when I'm looking for computer stuff new, at retail, and in person — meaning it's not at the Goodwill and I need it right now — I'm usually glad to be near a Fry's location. What brick-and-mortar stores make sense where you live?
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Best Buy Chairman and Founder Resigns Ahead of Schedule

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  • He escaped (Score:5, Funny)

    by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @03:41PM (#40248431) Journal

    Good move.

    • I haven't bought a Best Buy product in a long time. As I recall it was an eMachine desktop discounted to $FREE if I signed a 2 year MSN Dialup contract. So that gives you an idea of how long ago that was. (It's a shame ISPs no longer offer contract deals on PCs... like cellproviders do with phones.)

      I've found the best bargains are through Staples: I paid $250 for a desktop and $300 for a laptop. Bestbuy charged about one hundred more... no wonder they are losing customers. Maybe in another year they'll

      • by geekoid ( 135745 )

        That's weird, here at the Tualatin store, it's usually cheaper for more then staples.

        Of course, we have a Frys is Wilsonville, but the problem with that is that it's staffed by Fry's employees.

        I used to own, so maybe I'm biased.
        I'l go there, but I won't talk to the employees., cause they're stupid.

        Bestbuy is making the mistake of being a little of everything, but that's not working so well.
        They need to eat into Frys business.

        • by Jeng ( 926980 )

          I used to own, so maybe I'm biased.
          I'l go there, but I won't talk to the employees., cause they're stupid.

          The only place I have ran into truly knowledgeable employees is at Altex, but they don't exactly target the consumer.

          Otherwise I tend to avoid all salespeople and don't trust a word they say.

          • Re:He escaped (Score:4, Interesting)

            by tripleevenfall ( 1990004 ) on Friday June 08, 2012 @10:50AM (#40257211)

            I don't need salespeople. I know what I'm after when I arrive.

            Think about it, the goal of having these salespeople is to get you to buy more than you intended to buy. Otherwise, why would they pay them? They are there to pimp the more expensive model, the extraneous features, the Monster cables, the extended warranties you could never actually redeem.

            My goal is to avoid all salespeople.

        • I used to get irritated that Fry's employees were generally clueless, but then I realized that I knew more about computers and technology than the vast majority of salespeople from any store, so now I just generally completely ignore them and rely on my own knowledge or look up information ahead of time or on my smartphone when I'm there.

          I'm in Hillsboro Oregon, so I know the Fry's store you're talking about very well. I used to work for Hollywood Video corporate office as tech support for the stores (a
      • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

        "Maybe in another year they'll have a Circuitshitty-type selloff"

        The number of people screwed at that was astounding. The "deals" did not exist, and there were several in my town they bought TV's only to find them broken and sold "AS-IS" because the minimum wage morons the company hired knocked over a stack of TV's and then just stood them all back up. If you are not willing to pay them more than minimum wage, why do you trust them with stock that is more than 6 months of their wages? Their selloff was

  • by Gordo_1 ( 256312 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @03:42PM (#40248447)

    I dunno, could we see a renaissance in local computer shops as a result?

    • by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @03:48PM (#40248529)

      Probably not because they have to compete with the Internet too. If the highly-efficient Circuit City or Best Buy could not do it, it's doubtful some mom/pop store could do it.

      Small stores might fill the same roll as 7/11 does (quick gratification for purchases needed immediately), but will also have the same higher prices on goods that 7/11 has.

      • Probably not because they have to compete with the Internet too.

        The Internet doesn't have a showroom that lets me touch the keyboard of a laptop or smartphone before I buy it.

        • Same reason I don't import brides.

          (Do you really need to "touch" your new PC or laptop? It's just a generic device nowadays. Like my new $30 microwave I bought sight unseen.)

        • by v1 ( 525388 )

          Even that isn't saving them. A lot of consumers now go to Best Buy etc brick'n'mortar to "window shop", find what they want, write it down, and go home and amazon it etc. The brick'n'mortar stores are tired of being the window shopping of the online clearance stores.

          We've got a Best Buy in town, they moved in when Circuit City left. I don't know if I will miss them much. I've bought stuff from them before, and the get-it-the-same-day is a nice convenience, but it always comes at a cost. But sometimes it

          • Even that isn't saving them. A lot of consumers now go to Best Buy etc brick'n'mortar to "window shop", find what they want, write it down, and go home and amazon it etc. The brick'n'mortar stores are tired of being the window shopping of the online clearance stores.

            Yep...even easier than writing stuff down, just use one of the many barcode scanners, and record what you want, model# and all...and a listing of best prices to be found locally or online.

            Another big reason you don't actually buy at

        • by jd2112 ( 1535857 )

          Probably not because they have to compete with the Internet too.

          The Internet doesn't have a showroom that lets me touch the keyboard of a laptop or smartphone before I buy it.

          I was on best buy over the weekend and the phones they had on display were plastic models. (this however may varry by store.) On the other hand I wouldn't think of buying a TV without seeing it in person.

        • by clodney ( 778910 )

          And I think one of the things that really kills the brick and mortar stores are the people that go there to touch the keyboard or play with the camera, and then turn around and order it online.

          I can't say I've never done it myself, and I don't think anything can be done about it, but the reality is that retail stores often serve as the showroom for all the internet only stores.

      • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @03:58PM (#40248649) Journal

        Best Buy wasn't always so bad.

        Circuit City was poorly managed and loaded with debt. It is not the internet per say, but rather management losing their focus. BB had its doom when it acquired GeekSquad. Since it was a ripoff and such a high margin they strong armed their managers into making sure it was bundled with every computer since customers would have to use it anyway etc.

        Then the warranties could only be serviced at geeksquad. Then components were geeksquad insured. Then the cashiers were required to meet quotas, now BB wont even sell gaming keyboard and mice because they are not wireless which means no geek squad protection. Even their car audio and home entertainment installers are called geeksquad and are pushed. These are not real computer geeks

        Now they sell things people do not want because they can bundle geeksquad, customers get hassled as employees need to piss people off just to keep their jobs, their greed makes them sell expensive things so you are more likely to buy a geeksquad protection. Their credit cards are a terrible deal too and they are hitting on those.

        They lost what they are known for and that is great products at a reasonable price. Metrics can ruin many companies and CEOs who chose other lucrative markets devalue their assets. They are a retailer and not a computer shop.

        • by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @04:45PM (#40249333) Journal

          I agree with the previous poster about GeekSquad really hurting the company.... but at the same time? I have at least 4 Best Buy stores in my area and still found them convenient on occasion, even completely ignoring the GeekSquad aspects of the business.

          What I think really contributed to their decline was an overall floundering.... a loss of sense of who their customer really was and what he/she really wanted.

          For example, one of our stores here (Crestwood, Missouri location) slowly cut back their selection of products over the last couple years. First it was their computer section shrinking, eliminating multiple aisles of software titles. (Somewhat understandable with so much going to online download purchases, but still premature, IMO, when there were so many Windows PC users who still wanted a one-stop place to view all the latest game, educational or application titles and grab one to go, with no hassles.) Then they started eliminating all the desktop PCs, trying to only sell portables. Next, the home audio section shrunk, and even the little corner of the store for car audio got to the point where every time you asked about an installation accessory, it was something they "could order for you" but never had in stock. It's abundantly clear that they selected their inventory completely by some sort of computer generates sales metrics. If X number of units didn't move in Y amount of time, they stopped carrying it. Eventually, it turned them into a giant Blockbuster-like store, full of console game titles, movies and music, a bunch of cellphones, and an appliance section along one edge of the store. It still has a fair bit of TV stuff in the back corner opposite the car audio too, but let's face it. Flat panel TVs just aren't a hugely profitable item anymore. The market is pretty much saturated so people only buy to do the occasional upgrade or to replace a broken one, and the biggest innovation they're pushing is 3D; an option of questionable real value. It's no wonder this is one of the stores on their slate of locations to close!

          At other, larger locations? They've tried everything from selling Segway scooters in-store, to having mini music stores within their stores, a la Guitar Center franchises. (And I'm sorry, but Best Buy has NO chance of competing with Guitar Center! Not only do they lack staff with music knowledge, but they'll never have anywhere near as good a product selection, and likely not as good of pricing either. Why even try?) And that pathetic attempt at selling boutique high-end AV gear under the "Magnolia" name? No .... just, no.

          What originally made Best Buy stores memorable for me were the early days, when everything that was returned would be put back up for sale as an open box special with a 20% discount or so, and clearance tables were constantly full of managers' "red tag" sales of various items. You never quite knew what they'd have to sell you on a given trip, because they just seemed to randomly get ahold of any cool electronics gadget they could -- but they still managed to keep each section of the store well stocked with items that fit the category. If you walked in with a gift card, you walked out buying something cool, whether you had any idea what you wanted first or not.

          These days, they're so bad at being a computer shop (GeekSquad service is obviously a joke, but on the retail side, you can't get anything remotely "hard to find" --- so basically just the same staple items like keyboards/mice and 1TB SATA drives that WalMart sells), they may as well bail out completely, or start doing it right again. Prices are far from being a "best buy" too. Their very name is just a reminder of their former self.

          • by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @07:22PM (#40251153)
            You say they forgot who their customer was, forgot to have a good selection, and that caused their decline. I think you're confusing cause and effect. When the Internet gutted their margins, it was no longer profitable to have well-stocked stores, so people stopped coming... a vicious cycle. That doesn't mean they made any bad decisions; it's simply what happens to any company that is being destroyed by the competition. The same happened to Circuit City, Future Shop... and (most tellingly) nothing similar has arisen to replace them. They weren't stupid, they were simply outmoded.
      • by Hatta ( 162192 )

        highly-efficient Circuit City or Best Buy


    • That's a good point however with more and more states pushing for Internet Sales taxes, (California, Texas etc.) the Internet price advantage will not be as aggressive. In Texas, they're starting to collect sales taxes from Amazon as part of a deal, meaning with shipping and taxes etc. would a local store be able to compete more in terms of price plus the benefits of being able have a tactile experience as well? I don't know, but for a long time the "Internet Sales Tax" holiday has done quite a bit more i

    • by k6mfw ( 1182893 )
      Local stores are nice, I miss Action Computers on Lawrence Blvd in Sunnyvale, CA (next to HRO). Mainly used PCs but they used to have bins of various cables, connectors, accessories, boards, cases, housings, etc, etc, etc. and for very competitive prices. And they used to have old computers, got a Pentium2 PC for $30, loaded up Win98 OS and works great for programming old stuff (i.e. two-way radios). But lately (appears from new owners) have streamlined the store by getting rid of a lot of crap so the place
      • action moved. they are no longer next to the subway hoagie shop (yes, that's right, I said hoagie. deal with it!) but are next to st. johns burgers; the place that takes 3 hours to get past the lunch line.

      • by geekoid ( 135745 )

        Ah, Action Computers is gone? I don't live in CA anymore, but I used to go there.

  • Micro Center (Score:5, Informative)

    by a_nonamiss ( 743253 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @03:42PM (#40248451)
    If you're lucky enough to live near one. They provide the "I need this thing right now" fix, while matching NewEgg's prices. Their sales people aren't perfect, but they're generally a tick or two above the TV salesman at Best Buy. You can't buy a washer/dryer combo there, but I count myself as fortunate to live near one. They're always busy, so I truly hope they're making money.
    • I love my local Microcenter, but they suck at cable prices. I do for those, but Microcenter is great for everything else.
    • I'll second that. They have a good inventory and their sale prices are competitive with NewEgg (non-sale items tend to be priced at full retail). There are some small things that could be improved, like putting all of the compressed air in one place instead of spreading it around three or four different spots in the store, but it's a good place to get stuff that you need quickly.

      I went in with my brother when he was buying a computer. The salesperson recognized me (I had purchased a computer there a few w

    • by King_TJ ( 85913 )

      Yep... Micro Center was an absolutely savior here in St. Louis. Ever since CompUSA and Conputer City closed, we really didn't have a "computer store" to speak of. You have the randomly scattered "mom and pop" type computer stores, usually run by foreigners try to con you into buying used junk at nearly new prices, or alternately, poor geeks trying to scrape by, making a living cleaning viruses and replacing bad RAM for the clueless. And you have Best Buy and WalMart at the other end of the spectrum -- incre

  • by Baloroth ( 2370816 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @03:42PM (#40248453)

    Answer: any that aren't Best Buy.

    • Nice to be you.

      I live in S.E. Connecticut. The only stores within reasonable driving distance that have any decent tech at all are Best Buy and Staples. And they both suck. The only fallbacks are WalMart and Target. I want to weep when I type that because I'm jealous of the folks that live elsewhere and sorry that I live here. Sucks to be me. I miss the days when I lived in Dallas and could drive to MicroCenter to pick up equipment or browse the aisles for the latest Walnut Creek CD-Roms. What I coul

  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @03:44PM (#40248465) Journal

    Maybe if they did not obsess over metrics written by some MBA by hounded customers on geeksquad protection plans and credit card sales there would not be any drop. I went to a job fair yesterday to get some extra part time work under my belt and all the retailers are doing this. At JCPenny you can not be a cashier unless you have experience selling credit cards at 25% to poor people and that is the only metric that follows.

    With 1 trillion in debt people are no longer consuming because of shady deals like this are strangling their customer base for those who are dumb enough to use them. Geeksquad is a ripoff and it is so annoying when all you want is a job.

    The upper management are really clueless and they make sure all mice and keyboards are wireless only because they can then bundle geeksquad protection plans. IT is just an insane customer experience when you want a wired gaming mouse and they can not even carry it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jeng ( 926980 )

      I received a $25 gift card for Best Buy, I needed a wireless mouse keyboard combo.

      The cheapest one was @ $45 and was an absolute piece of shit. I would have spent the same and got better quality if I had tossed that gift card and just bought a cheap keyboard+mouse from Fry's.

    • by rgbscan ( 321794 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @04:34PM (#40249143) Homepage

      I did a holiday stint at clothing retailer last year for the discount and to make some holiday cash. Cashier's were required to finagle 11 new emails - that's new, never before collected emails, and 2 approved credit cards per shift. Those that made the goal got to stay on permanently. Those that did not were not offered a permanent position. The store was going to try again with the next batch of temp workers around easter, than again during back to school.

      Customer survey scores only mattered if you routinely got negative scores. Bagging well didn't matter. Speed at the register didn't matter, in fact you were encouraged to slow down the line and were trained with all kinds of "countering" sales lines to say to people that declined the credit offer. Going slower gave you more time to work them over. You were supposed to keep trying until the customer firmly said no (basically when they reached the point of being pissed). They even had little charts and tables taped to the cash register so you could quickly estimate they 15/20/25% off so you could tell the customer that even just applying for the store credit card would save them 'x' amount of dollars right now on this purchase. The store talked a lot about advancement opporunity and growth through store provided training, but it was all just sales hype videos.

      So don't get mad when they hound you at the register.... their job depends on it. Even if it is exactly the opposite of what you actually want in a retail experience.

    • Maybe if they did not obsess over metrics written by some MBA by hounded customers on geeksquad protection plans and credit card sales there would not be any drop. I went to a job fair yesterday to get some extra part time work under my belt and all the retailers are doing this. At JCPenny you can not be a cashier unless you have experience selling credit cards at 25% to poor people and that is the only metric that follows.

      With 1 trillion in debt people are no longer consuming because of shady deals like

  • Local stores (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jimwelch ( 309748 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (kohclewmij)> on Thursday June 07, 2012 @03:44PM (#40248483) Homepage Journal
    If we loose BB, all I have left is Target, Wal-mart, Staples, Office Depot and of course the INTERNET. My last 3 laptops came from Staples. Good Prices, Good Selection and NO pushy salesman! AND no LOUD music.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I used to work for them. THey are now pushy as they make all their money with their high interest rip off credit cards. At least it is not as bad as BB where you will be hassled 3x about the latest credit cards and geeksquad protection plans.

      Sadly all retailers are doing this and it pisses customers off, yet the beancounters do not see this way.

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      I see your subject. Read what you wrote. So what has one to do with the other?
      None of them I would call a local store. For me a local store is a store that is owned by a local person, doing local business. Not something that happens to have a branch in the state or even in the county.

      • That's OK. We can differ on what is the definition of a local store. from the original article. "What brick-and-mortar stores make sense where you live?" That is what I meant. B&M near me "local" verses remote: long drive either for me or for my UPS driver. I am not "in love" with the buy local slogan. Those that push that, better never take money from out-of-towner's. My "local" stores are filled with out-of-state tags because we are 25 mi from the border. I live in a medium town (36,000) 1/3 of the w
    • I live in a metro area of half a million, and since the demise of Circuit City and CompUSA, when it comes to new-hardware-in-hand-today, the only options are: Best Buy, Office Depot/Max, the Apple Store, Radio Shack, and the electronics sections of the grocery/department stores.

      From time to time I drive past the little shop where I bought the printer, modem, and other gear I needed to go with the C64 I got for high school graduation back in '83. Last I looked it was a tattoo studio. The days of the local

    • TFS mentions Frys. They are awesome online and in store.

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      Music too loud? can't say no to a sales person? LIke tiles?

      The confirms my suspicion:
      Staples is for old and boring people.

    • News for you, Office Depot is pretty much wiped out by Staples here in Canada.
  • One good one (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07, 2012 @03:44PM (#40248485)

    What brick-and-mortar stores make sense where you live?

    Not many honestly. We don’t have Fry’s here in Nova Scotia (Atlantic Canada). A basic rundown of the geeky stores in my area:

    - The source (basically circuit city/radio shack) go there if you want to have a teenager try to sell you a big screen TV or a high end power cord made by monster cable.

    - Future shop (basically best buy but the employees are on commission which makes shopping their support annoying). They are basically the place to go for cables (they have monster cable too... but they also have reasonably priced stuff), memory sticks, or if you really need a hard drive.

    Those are the “mainstream” ones. We also have some smaller local shops:

    - Greenlyph / robotnik ... small hole in the wall computer shop. Very shallow inventory. Rarely have what you want in stock.. so they have to order it for you. Sometimes worth it to get a case or other heavy item through them.. but for the most part may as well buy online. Greenlyph is also really bad when it comes to getting back to you on parts coming in. They actually lost my business because of this. Very annoying to call for an estimate on when something might be in and finding out it’s been sitting there for 3 days.

    - Jentronics – This is the one positive one on the list. Local electronics (resistors, diodes) shop. Great people who know their stuff. More expensive than digikey or mouser... but I still tend to shop their first. This is how you compete with the big online guys. By accepting you can’t beat the prices or selection and focusing on the service. They don’t try to up-sell me there... in fact they’ve down sold me a few times (“that’s overkill.. this would work”). I go there because I _enjoy_ the experience of browsing the isles and talking to the staff there. I avoid future shop because I can’t walk down an isle without 3 commission hungry kids attacking me (and then when I find something.. they want me to check it out immediately so they get credit for it..).

    • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      Oddly that sounds like most of Canada. You've got the source, future shop, maybe a bestbuy. Random local small in the hole computer shops. Though if you have no problem ordering online, try Canadacomputers or Tigerdirect. Also NCIX(though I hate them with a passion). CC will pricematch anyone in Canada though.

      • Just curious, why the hate on NCIX. They seem to be cheap, everything is in stock or shows up in a couple of days. I order on the internet, pick up in the store (usually on the same day). Extra bonus, Barbecue pork buns at the bakery across the way in the mall.
    • a high end power cord made by monster cable

      Wait, when did Monster start selling quality stuff?

      • by geekoid ( 135745 )

        Most there stuff is quality...but that doesn't mean it's worth 60 bucks for a cable.

        By quality I men end connectors and materials. not quality is in 'It magically maees the electrons better'

  • Thankfully, we have a Microcenter in the area. It's more computer-centric, but that's usually what I'm shopping for.

  • Salvation (Score:5, Funny)

    by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @03:46PM (#40248497) Homepage

    Here's an idea that could definitely save these retailers.

    People need entertainment, right? And they want something they like, right?

    We'll hire a bunch of college kids, call them the "Media Squad" and have them review movies, video games, and music, and recommend them based on each customer's particular tastes. By sheer coincidence, they'll recommend things most that are brand new, and stuck with a high markup. To prevent the kids from getting any silly notions like recommending Hulu or other things we don't make profit on, we'll give them sales quotas.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  • by firex726 ( 1188453 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @03:46PM (#40248505)

    I don't go to Fry's often due to their return policy.

    I've had far too many instances of them blaming a defective product on me and wanting to charge me the restocking fee.

    The item will have the security/warranty tape on it as an indicator of tampering but they will say I took it off and broke it, then put a new piece on. BB is no questions asked pretty much.

    Also BB is MUCH better for browsing for newer movies. Fry's has a bigger selection, but with them so cramped you can't just browse.

    • by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @03:52PM (#40248577) Journal
      Anecdote is anecdote, but I have never had an issue returning stuff to Fry's, My volume of sales is pretty high, they can see it when doing the return and im sure that reflects how they handle my requests. My only issue with Fry's was when i returned something as defective and I saw the kid put it in the "return to shelf' bins. I had to remind him that I was returning it as manufacturer defective.
      • by geekoid ( 135745 )

        These days, Frys is pretty good. 12 years ago? a figuratively fucklong nightmare of inquisition.

        Of course the really issue to look at is not how difficult it is to return stuff, but 'Why are you returning so much stuff.?'

    • by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @04:14PM (#40248867)

      There are ways around stores that refuse to issue a refund on a broken item:
      - Put the item for return in an envelope w/ delivery confirmation.
      - Mail it back to store.
      - Wait 30 days and then call the credit card company & file a dispute that you returned the item but never received a refund.
      - CC company issues refund.

      • by MobyDisk ( 75490 )

        As they say "posession is 9/10ths of the law." I too can attest this works, but I did it differently:
        - Try to return the item nicely
        - If that fails, leave the item on their return counter along with a copy of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.
        - Take a picture of them both on the counter.
        - Record a video of you leaving.
        - File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
        - Issue a chargeback. (I did this via mail I think.) In the chargeback letter, include the pictures, the letter, why you returned it, and a co

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          You only got a refund because the store decided not to fight the chargeback.

          Visa, MC, Discover, and Amex rules say a store can have a "no returns" policy as long as a sign is clearly posted.

          You were supposed to return the item to the manufacturer.

        • by geekoid ( 135745 )

          huh, I just talk to the manager and they take care of me in no time.
          But, hay making up stories about carrying contract law in your pocket and making videos is fine to.

  • local store (Score:4, Funny)

    by SebNukem ( 188921 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @03:47PM (#40248517)

    I put on my hat, replace my wallpaper with a high res picture of the brick wall, and head off to

  • by guido1 ( 108876 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @03:49PM (#40248541)

    "I continue to believe in Best Buy and its future..." Schulze said in a statement.
    followed immediately by "Schulze also said he was exploring options for his 20.1 percent stake in the company." and an accompanying article from here []

    Looks like he's getting out as much as possible now.

    Hurray for Microcenter?

  • by ninjagin ( 631183 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @03:51PM (#40248557)
    Thankfully, I have Microcenter in my city.
  • I think Best Buy is just another victim of the low low margins on TVs. As a store selling TVs it's future is grimm.
    • It's not just the TVs. Or any one section of product. It's the customer service. The local Best Buy has eliminated checkout lanes. To actually buy something you need to get in line behind the people returning items (in a poorly laid-out fashion, which extends into the store), and wait while the person in front of you explains that, no, really, the dog didn't chew on his new game, it was just damaged in the packaging. And then wait as they go through some ten-step process to actually process the return.

    • I would argue they are another victim of the loss-leader business model. They effectively take a loss on everything in the hopes of making it up on extended warranties and overpriced Monster cables. The only time I shop there is when shipping will be a challenge and my time is more valuable than my money. With that mindset, I willingly pay twice what I think something is worth and try to get on with my life.

      While Fry's is at the midpoint in my 3-mile daily commute from home to office, I rarely end up buy

    • As a store selling TVs it's future is grimm.

      ...and another perfectly good English word loses its identity because a TV program was named after its homophone...

  • We dont have Frys or MicroCenter. Just best Buy Walmart, Target, Sears. Cone are Circuit City, Compuware, Ultimate Electronics ...
  • Why should Schlutze stay to the bitter end? It makes sense to get out now. Especially if he has a good exit deal. He still owns 20% of the company, and is "exploring options" for unloading it.

    I wonder if Zuckerberg will ever come back from his honeymoon. FB stock is in a screaming dive (it just dropped through $26.50). Revenue per user is down. Traffic stopped growing in mid-2011. A new study indicates that 80% of Facebook users never, ever buy anything from a Facebook ad. This would be a great time for

    • >>>Revenue per user is down.

      Sometimes Facebook shoots themselves in the foot. I browse facebook using my Kindle, which has a full-sized web browser just like a tablet, and loads all of Facebook's ads (which generate revenue). About a week ago facebook started redirecting my kindle to mobile.facebook which has NO ads. So basically facebook is losing money every time I visit. If they had any sense they'd turn-off the redirect to the ad-free site.

  • You could do a lot worse than check out Milwaukee PC []. Reasonable prices, knowledgeable staff. Even if their website does suck. ;)

  • Why on earth are you buying anything at BestBuy? They charge $30 for an HDMI cable. The only stuff that makes sense to buy locally are things that are so cheap that it doesn't make sense to pay the shipping on them. But BestBuy price gouges on the very things that might get me into the store so heavily that it's usually cheaper for me to buy the cable from newegg and get next day air shipping. A few weeks ago my wife lost the cable for her iPod, so I stopped by Bestbuy... they wanted $20. So I went to walma
  • There aren't many physical store where I'd go for my electronics needs, with the exception maybe Costco, the Apple store and a handful of stores in the NYC area. The rest over-charge and are staffed by feckless incompetents. I've gone into Best Buy, and like Circuit City or CompUSA before them, always had the impression that no one, including management cared about offering any kind of service or value. Walk into those stores and there's this persistent sense they're trying to scam people. It's something yo

    • by Radres ( 776901 )

      I think you hit the nail on the head. It feels like these companies are trying to scam you, not help you. Why would you trust them with your money?

  • Blame all around (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Radres ( 776901 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @04:06PM (#40248763)

    Just like when Circuit City went down, they're going to blame everyone but themselves. Circuit City's differential for years was that it had commissioned salespeople who were actually knowledgeable and gave a shit. Then they pulled their commissions, and when the economy started to falter, they died. They then turned around and blamed it on the recession, when everyone knew that their stores just sucked. So is it with Best Buy. In smaller markets, Best Buy is the only electronics store in town. You can count on walking the store and seeing many of the shelves empty because the merchandise is not in stock. They pay the salespeople diddly squat with no commissions, so you can count on having to browse the store yourself with little to no help from anyone. The only time you do get help is when you checkout the cashier will try to sell you an extended warranty that you don't need. Everything is overpriced, and most of the items they stock are of inferior quality.

    I don't think anyone will ever try it, but here's an idea for how to run a store:

    1) Hire people who know technology, and pay them adequately/treat them well to work the floor. Keep track of how much time your average customer walks the store without anyone offering to help, and work towards reducing that time.
    2) Don't insult your customers with insane markups on things like cables, or with bullshit warranties, credit card offers, etc.
    3) Instead of offering a wide range of choices with many of them shit, offer choices that someone has actually vetted as working properly, and keep them in stock. Don't waste the consumer's time and money with having to buy crap. In turn, you can expect your loss from returned merchandise to go down.
    4) Make it a pleasure to shop your store and I might actually go there. Right now, it's a better experience to shop online. I can get reviews of products, narrow down my selection to the best possible one, and have a pretty good idea of what I'm buying. Much better than wasting time browsing some store. This is before considering that shopping online is actually cheaper. If when I went to your store I saw the same salespeople who had offered me good advice on other purchases I had made there before, guess what? I'd keep coming back because I'd value their input. The prices should be fair, meaning only a slight markup over what I could get online + shipping,

  • ! wonder (Score:5, Funny)

    by JackSpratts ( 660957 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @04:08PM (#40248795) Homepage
    Did they inspect his bags before he left?
  • What brick-and-mortar stores make sense where you live?

    ok you asked. for the bay area, my 2nd home (it seems) is halted (hsc electronics). excess solutions, weirdstuff, maybe some other lesser known bay area surplus electronics stores. but a special place in my heart for halted; great people and just a fun place to browse.

    now, you won't find new chinese made-to-export gear there. this is a 10-50 year old surplus equipment store. lots of dust, resistors and ic sockets all over the floor aisles, etc. the same clerks seem to have been there for the past 25 years or so (about as long as I can remember going to the store).

    its about the farthest thing I can imagine from the blatant consumerism crap you find at worstbuy. I dread having to buy new things, these days. I know the quality (inside) will suck compared to the old school stuff I am used to and grew up on. I do NOT relish having to even set foot in a worstbuy or even a frys, for that matter.

    I'm not their target audience (worstbuy) but I lost interest in things 'new' since they are built progressively worse and worse each year. knowing how they should be built and seeing what you get for your money, it just makes me a little sick.

    I escape to the past in the surplus stores. and I avoid 'the malls'. but you asked, so I answered.

  • by MetricT ( 128876 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @04:23PM (#40248967)

    I live in Nashville, TN, and the only physical stores we have are Best Buy and Radio Shack. Our former CompUSA franchise was the high-water mark of sophistication before it went under.

    Last week my brother and I traveled to San Diego on vacation, and since I was in the neighborhood, I decided to stop by Fry's and see what the hubbub was about. It's the frickin' geek Promised Land. I felt like a 10 year old kid wandering around the starship Enterprise.

    Why can't we have nice things too? Atlanta has *2* Fry's, *2* Microcenters, and a TigerDirect. Nashville has precisely bupkis (BestBuy equals zero for any value you plug into it).

    MBA's love to cluster because they assume their competitor sees gold in them thar hills and it's harder to be blamed for a bad decision when your competitor is doing it too. But doesn't it make sense to open a store somewhere else, someplace where you would *BE* the market?

  • "What brick-and-mortar stores make sense where you live?"

    None. I learned about PCs without access to worthwhile local stores and now I could care less. I don't even know what local stores offer. I don't need them.

    I can find out everything I need to know online before shopping, which also means I don't need to spend the time and fight the traffic and burn expensive fuel to go moon about a brick-and-mortar computer store.

    Newegg and other online vendors have been very good to me over the years. For used parts,

  • hhgregg just as bad and 100% commission with draw that can get you fired just for being in a slow store. Having to work long hours does not help as well have to buy uniforms at a high cost. []

  • and maybe Staples for simple stuff. I only use Best Buy for stuff like my 55" Sony Bravia, etc. I've been burnt a couple of times buying desktop computers there, and don't get me started with Circus City (mis-spelling intended).

I am a computer. I am dumber than any human and smarter than any administrator.