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BestBuy going out of business.... Gradually and then all at once says Forbes.

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Sam Posten, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. doug zdanivsky

    doug zdanivsky Well-Known Member

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    Do you guys have HMV in the States?

    I love Amazon.ca for pretty much everything, not just DVDs/CDs, but cookware, books..

    But after getting screwed by some crappy Game of Thrones paraphernalia I bought for a Christmas present, I'd resolved to get more hands-on with my purchases again.

    I went into Future Shop, A Canadian electronics big box that was bought by Best Buy in 2001, and it is a mess.. It is basically a big cell phone and console video game store now, with all the electronics and DVD's stuffed in the back. And only new releases or popular DVD's at that.. Want anything outside the norm? Go online, was the subtext of every conversation I had with any of the staff (their online counter-part is just as bare bones, however)..

    But back to my original point.. I was in the mall killing time while my wife did her thing, and wandered into an HMV.. Great selection of music and DVD's (international, obscure, cult fav's), I always have something catch my eye (and my wallet) when I go in there.. Great staff who never 'hover' but who are never far away.. And a nice selection of movie and music-related kitsch to browse and critique. Basically a chain that feels like a mom and pop, which is to say 'big box' done right... They don't try to do a million things half-assed, like Future Shop (major appliances, car audio, computers, TV's, phones, etc etc etc)..

    It can be done, long story short..

    So I'll be doing more in-store shopping from now on, IF I can find the right store (Best Buy/Future Shop/Walmart ain't it)..

    That said, one thing I do appreciate about the big chains is their return policies.. Ever try to return something to a mom and pop? God help you if you don't have the receipt and the item has a speck of dust on it!! You have to fight your way through to a store credit (forget a full refund!) rather than a 20% 'restocking' fee... I can appreciate their reticence (THEY have to go through the hassle of returning it to the original supplier if it is defective, or trying to re sell it in their store, if you just didn't like it for whatever reason), but it still makes me reluctant to ever come back if I know I will have a pitched battle if ever I am not completely satisfied with a purchase..
     
  2. SAhmed

    SAhmed Well-Known Member

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    I wandered into the Blu department at Best Buy over the weekend to pickup "Captain Phillips" - boy what a difference from it's heyday. The department has a real stench of death about it - half empty shelves, poor selection, Blu mixed in with DVD in some category organization but which goes to pot in the numerous "sale" sections, endcap etc...

    The only place I get any enjoyment of a touchy, feely sense is at my local Barnes And Noble but their regular prices are not competitive (obviously "xmas time" when the B&N 50% Criterion or the 40% Off sale comes around :) ).

    Sad but it is what it is.

    Regards,
     
  3. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Premium
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    While I have never been impressed with the selection of movies at Best Buy no matter what store I was in, from Phoenix, AZ to City Of Industry here in California. I have to say that to me it looks like the look of the stores have improved since 2008. I usually do not buy from Best Buy but since a online friend who has been very good at giving me great advise was working for Best Buy Magnolia. I made it a point to drive 36.5 miles to Mission Viejo, CA and was very impressed with there audio/video department and since they where a Magnolia design center in a more upscale neighborhood it looked really good and was stocked with higher end components. I do not get a sense that Best Buy is in the same trouble they where in a number of years ago and hopefully the customer service issues are not like they used to be in the past. Here in California we have lost The Good Guys, Audio Concepts and Sound Factor if we loose Best Buy especially with the Magnolia centers. The thought of buying everything online or going to big box stores like Wal-Mart and Costco just doesn't do it for me. They have a almost none existent selection of audio video gear so I hope Best Buy can at least turn it around. Don't get me wrong I love Costco but that is not the place for buying home theater gear. Sure they have a decent selection of tvs but if you are looking for anything else your in trouble.
     
  4. Alf S

    Alf S Premium
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    They just finished a total remodel of the original BB store here in town. It now has higher end appliances and a much nicer Magnolia area. Overall the store is much more upscale than the "old days" when it looked like a big giant warehouse. I still buy several things there and since they price match Amazon, Newegg etc, I can always pay the lower price and get the satisfaction of having it in my hand and using it the same day vs. siting around wondering when my UPS guy will stop by. We also found a great deal on our kitchen appliances there as well.

    So for now, they are still my go to place for several things that I can't find at WM or Target etc.
     
  5. atfree

    atfree Premium
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    I used to be a huge Best Buy fan, but I haven't set foot in one for over 2 years when I bought my current flat panel. If there's something I want, I usually comparison shop online, then 99% of the time I end up purchasing from Amazon and it's on my doorstep in 2 days. Now I won't purchase a TV online (tried it once, first 2 sets delivered with cracked screens, 3rd with bad panel, over 2 weeks of back/forth to finally get a working set) but just about anything else I will buy online unless I have an immediate, need-it-today requirement.
     
  6. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    As long as there are companies that make good stuff...and require a face to face sale(Paradigm, Totem, Integra and Elite...and more)Best Buy can wither and die.
     
  7. Dave Moritz

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    For the longest time I hated Best Buy but now I am back buying from them. But I prefer to go to the Magnolia Best Buys so I can find good product. We use to have a few retailers in the Los Angeles area but they are gone. My retailers of choice where Good Guys, Audio Concepts and Sound Factor. And in Arizona Ultimate Electronics but now there are internet sites and very few good retail stores. I know people buy online but I prefer buying from a store and if something happens I know I can put it in the car and drive to where I purchased it and it is taken care of. I do not like having to put something in a box and have it shipped back and forth especially since you take risks shipping with UPS and Fed Ex and something is bound to get damaged.


    I think someone was a little premature about the death of Best Buy because here it is Aug 15, 2015 and Best Buys is still here.


    I have purchased bluray's from them, a 4K UHD TV and now a new Bowers & Wilkins center speaker. I will most likely return to buy my UHD Blu-ray player if they carry a player I am interested in. If Sound Factor and Good Guys where still here I would be buying from them or if Ultimate Electronics had survived and moved into So Cal I would be buying from them.
     
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  8. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Well-Known Member

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    When I first saw the Topic title, I was a bit worried because a few months back, our local Future Shop was among over 60 that were closed in Canada, and replaced by...................Best Buy!


    My initial reaction was, "What, yet another retail outlet closing? Great!!" Earlier this year, when all of the Targets across Canada closed, our local Strip Plaza was left with a massive unoccupied space, which had been a Zellers Department Store for over two decades, and was a Towers Department Store for many years before that! Now, with Canada in a possible recession (It's currently being billed as a non recession, if that makes any sense?), and our Retail in a huge slump, who knows when anything might open in the huge space between Sobeys Groceries and Staples/Pet Valu?


    The last thing we need locally is to lose another major retailer at this stage of the game! Long live Best Buy!


    Sorry if I went somewhat off topic?


    CHEERS! :)
     
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  9. davidmatychuk

    davidmatychuk Well-Known Member

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    I like stores. I don't like online shopping. I like handing money to an employed human being. I don't like my credit card payment going straight to Jeff Bezos for something that gets brought by the mailman, who already has a job. I like walking into a retail environment full of wonderful things I might like to own, and I like seeing people being employed. Sales of physical copies are down? Well maybe Blu-Ray sales are down partly because movie enthusiasts who used to have jobs at Blu-Ray retailers can't afford to buy Blu-Rays any more. And maybe people who only shop online forget what shopkeeping means to the people who make their livings from it. As long as I have the option of shopping at my local retailers, I'm going to support my local retailers.
     
  10. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I'm the opposite, I've always hated shopping in stores. The convenience of online shopping was made for people like me. The Blue Shirts irritated me with their constant asking if they could help me or listening to them give ignorant shoppers false information. I don't want Best Buy to go out of business, but it's not an enjoyable shopping environment for people like myself.
     
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  11. atfree

    atfree Premium
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    Same here Robert. I "buy", I don't " shop" per se in a store. In today's world, I can do all my research and comparisons online and, if I'm forced to go to a B&M to purchase, I can go directly to what I want and purchase it. Other than the grocery store and Costco, my wife and I haven't spent more than 30 minutes in a store in several years. My Amazon purchases are huge on the other hand.
     
  12. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Well-Known Member

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    It's all a compromise. I used to be a heavy Good Guys/Best Buy purchaser in the 90s, supplemented by a friendship with a local dealer who would give me employee pricing for certain Home Theater items. Then when Amazon rose, and Best Buy's service plummeted--they advertised they didn't work on commission so were lower pressure compared to Good Guys--ended up translating into that their employees didn't care, were poorly trained, and spread bad information to their customers. So I started being Amazon-only.


    Turns out Amazon itself has some less than stellar employee treatment as well. Except in the opposite direction of Best Buy and Good Guys.


    I echo a lot of what has been written recently. For easy BD purchases, I don't mind using Amazon Prime. Convenience and price are the reasons. But for high-end A/V purchases, I bought my 4K TV on sale at Best Buy, and I bought my Pioneer Elite receiver when it went on clearance at half-price Magnolia when the new year models were about a month away from being released. As others mentioned, I liked the fact that if I didn't like it, I could drive 5 minutes from my place and return it for no hassle (which fortunately didn't happen).


    Some day we'll find a nice middle ground: trained employees who are value-adds, but aren't so commission-driven that they try to sell certain brands over others just based on profit margin. I understand wanting to support jobs (though Amazon itself does also employ tons of employees) but I'd like to support a place that treats its employees well, holds them to reasonable standards (let us not forget that these types of jobs aren't paying a high salary), and sells goods to consumers at competitive prices.
     
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  13. davidmatychuk

    davidmatychuk Well-Known Member

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    I certainly do buy online if I must, and I'm glad I have that option. I just support bricks-and-mortar whenever I can, though my options have shrunk down to a handful. I wonder about shopping in the future, when nobody remembers retail outlets. What will "shopping" even mean then?
     
  14. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Premium
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    When I was younger, there was no better place on earth than a video store. I loved seeing all of the boxes lined up in neat rows, seeing the cover art and reading the descriptions on the back. As a kid and a teenager, I could get lost in one of those stores for hours. Browsing through boxes in the video store was infinitely more fun than browsing through the different menu pages on the various online rental services.


    The problem for me today with buying movies from brick and mortar stores is that they don't always have what I want, and if they do have it, they charge significantly more for buying the same item online. The retail options around me aren't independently owned, they're giant chains like Best Buy and Barnes & Noble.


    I think the problem is just that there's no real need for a dedicated video or disc rental store anymore, not when you can order movies through your cable provider or a streaming service, and never have to deal with late fees or going to the store to return it. And with those gone, and with the ease of streaming or ordering a physical item online, there's no incentive for a giant chain to keep a copy of some rare movie only a couple people might want in stock in the hopes that someone might pick it up.


    The last time I went to Best Buy to purchase a new Blu-ray was when "Captain America; The Winter Soldier" came out last fall. They had a slightly better price than Amazon so I thought it would be nice to try to support the local employees. I checked on their website before I left for the store, and the website clearly stated that the disc I wanted was in stock at the store I was going to. When I got there, there wasn't a single copy to be found, and when I spoke to the manager, he stated that not only did they sell out of all their copies in the morning, all of the other stores in their district did as well. I pointed out that I came there because the website said it was in stock, and the manager wouldn't even offer an apology for the inconvenience, and wouldn't even admit that the website was wrong. It was one of the more bizarre conversations I've ever had, where he kept insisting, "The website is correct, it's in stock - we're just sold out" - both of those things are not possible at the same time. And it really bothered me that not only was the website giving out incorrect information, but that it had been doing so all day. It would have been one thing if I got to the store and the manager told me that they had just sold their last copy five minutes ago, but it was hours and hours beforehand. As politely as I could, I said that I felt that I had been lied to, and that I didn't appreciate the way that the manager was continuing to insist to my face that the item was "in stock" when it wasn't, and that I wasn't going to shop there anymore - and I haven't. And the thing is, I'd like to think I'm a reasonable person, I didn't begin the conversation with the intention of telling the manager I wasn't coming back. If he had just said something like, "I don't know why the website is telling you that it's in stock, I apologize for the inconvenience, if you'd like I can take your phone number and call you when the new shipment comes in", I would have left with a completely different attitude.
     
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  15. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?

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    What does that mean? That IS their job. If no one buys through the mail or gets things sent to their home he has no job.
     
  16. davidmatychuk

    davidmatychuk Well-Known Member

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    There were mailmen before Amazon, but I see what you mean. Some of my friends are, or have been, posties, and deliveries of online purchases are a big part of that business. Absolutely no offence meant to Postal Service workers.
     
  17. Reed Grele

    Reed Grele Well-Known Member

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    I used to love shopping. My weekly trips to various malls around the state of CT was something I looked forward to.


    Video stores? Don't get me started. I knew every chain and mom & pop video rental emporium within a 50 mile radius of my home. Back in the late eighties and early nineties, I'd drive all the way down to Greenwich on Friday mornings to a great place called "Aud-Vid" that rented laserdiscs. Then I'd drive back again on Monday to return them. I also purchased many LD titles there.


    These days, I hardly ever go to a mall. Most everything I need can be had from Amazon. The only retail stores I frequent are Costco, and Stop & Shop. Can't even remember the last time I went to a Home Depot or Lowes, although I still use them for yard work and building supplies.


    The video rental stores are almost all gone. Now it's Netflix, Amazon Prime streaming, cable, or any number of other "stay at home" options.


    Even with falling gas prices of late, I really don't like to drive very much anymore. Every time I do, I invariably see crazy idiots driving with one hand on the wheel while texting or talking on cel phones with the other. Hell, last evening my next door neighbor's daughter came barrelling down her driveway, not bothering to stop at the bottom, and just tore out into the street, narrowly missing me as I drove by.


    It's a very different world from when I was young. The Internet has changed the way I do almost everything.
     
  18. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Premium
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    There are certain things I will buy from the internet and other things I would rather go to a retail store to buy. Going to a retail store is more social and you end up talking to other people and seeing the product for yourself instead of sitting at home behind a screen then hope that some delivery person doesn't damage what you have purchased.
     
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  19. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Well-Known Member

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    I primarily want to support businesses where their employees have had some form of training and knowledge of product (genuine passion and enthusiasm about what they're selling is even better...and rarer). Which is why Best Buy/Magnolia is such a conundrum to me. Buying my Pioneer Elite from Mag was fine, and even though I had done all the research and knew which model I was getting, I allowed the rep to chat me up and in the course of our conversation it was clear that he had a pretty decent amount of knowledge about home theater and their wares.


    However in the general BB area, employees in general, especially in the music/movies section, generally don't give a s#!t about the products, and I've even seen them haphazardly tossing media to each other while shelving. I thought "hey I now know how discs get loose when I buy them!" :blink:


    So I have zero problem with buying my BDs from Amazon.
     
  20. davidmatychuk

    davidmatychuk Well-Known Member

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    In Vancouver, we have Videomatica, which transitioned from a big rental facility with a good specialty retail section to a retail-only store. I shop and special-order from them, and their prices are competitive with online prices. We also have a few HMV locations in the area, with a new downtown storefront opening late last year. Their prices are very competitive with Amazon.ca, and they're very good with special orders. I buy music there as well. Of course we have Best Buy, but their selection these days is limited to some new releases and an array of bargain titles, with no music whatsoever. We also have WalMart and London Drugs, both of which have home entertainment software. But the shopping experience at Videomatica and at HMV is superior in every way to the big box retailers. Lacking those options, I guess I'd be shopping online too, and reminiscing even more about the good old days than I do now.
     
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