Well, Best Buy is way too nouveau to qualify as a “great American company,” but it’s big enough and bad enough off to join Sprint, JC Penney and the seven others on the endangered species list.
Not to mention that the fur’s been flying in the business press where Best Buy’s concerned.
Take the headline in Business Week a couple days back: “Analysts take skeptical view of Best Buy.”
Or the dust up over Best Buy’s hiring of a French dude with a hospitality pedigree and no retail experience to head the company. For a cool $32 million no less. Not only that, NBC reported that the French citizen will be paid $6.25 million if he can’t get his green card to work in this country.
Kinda like a golden parachute in case the main parachute doesn’t open.
Which almost makes as much sense as reinstating ousted Best Buy founder Richard Schulze who is campaigning to right the company by taking it private, kicking Amazon‘s ass on price and providing Apple quality in-store customer service.
“That’ll never happen,” muses Kief’s Audio Video owner John Kiefer. “(Best Buy)’s never done quality.”
Schulze is practically the last guy on earth Kiefer would entrust with restoring Best Buy to its glory days – days that were more about being in the right place at the right time than having a “magic touch.”
The glory years of audio / video are in the rear view mirror and the game is much tougher now, Kiefer says.
Is it even possible for Schulze to rescue Best Buy and make it thrive in today’s marketplace?
“I don’t think so,” Kiefer says. “Now that Walmart and all the other big boxes have moved in he’s like a flea crawling up an elephant’s ass with rape on his mind.”
Where Kiefer sees Best Buy in say five years?
“Well, I don’t know how good the new guy is, but how can they follow the same route as Apple when every (electronics) brand has a different policy? If you’re an Apple dealer, you buy from Apple. But they can’t do that at Best Buy because each manufacturer has a different margin. It’s like, ‘Let’s redo the tax code.’ How simple is that? I think Best Buy will be around but it’ll be a whole different animal.”
Can kids be lured back into the fold?
“That won’t happen until the specialty stores come back,” Kiefer says. “People don’t dream about things that don’t exist and in Kansas City for example, they’ve gone from a dozen or more high end audio video stores to (essentially) one.”
Give it up for soundfx at 4451 Belleview just north of the Plaza.
Oh and Kief’s in Lawrence and Independence Audio in Independence.