Post image for Best Buy closing retail stores.

Best Buy closing retail stores.

by Jeremy Schoemaker on February 11, 2013 · 42 comments

This is something I think we will see a big trend in… Not really a huge surprise.

I remember at the TechCrunch 40 back in 2007 when Mike Arrington quized a exec from Best Buy. He asked them how they hoped to compete with the Amazon’s of the world.The exec responded by saying that people would always want a local place because of customer service.

Well last week Best Buy announced they will be closing 200-500 retail stores throughout the country. And expect to do so per year. They are fully focusing on online sales. Hrmm I think its too late. Good luck with that.

Lets look at why, in my opinion, they are closing the stores.

  1. Taxes – I gotta pay taxes on local purchases. With Amazon I do not (at the store).
  2. Customer Service – Why? The people in the computer department or wherever in my experience are total idiots. I can Google for any issue I am having and get a REAL answer.
  3. Returns – Why go through the hassell? Amazon and Zappos have a no questions asked refund policy. And they even pay for shipping both ways.
  4. Price – Usually the ONLY reason I go into Best Buy is to look at the physical product. Then I use my Amazon app to scan the barcode and show me how much it is on Amazon. The other day I bought these wireless RF headphones for my bedroom from Amazon. The same ones at Best Buy (online or retail) were 35% MORE after tax.

The only negative is I have to wait 2 days for free shipping under Amazon Prime. So for those must have it right now I go to the local boutique store. I will probably miss that some day.

But check this out:

I buy all my Apple products on Amazon. They ship faster, they have a way better return policy, AND its cheaper then buying at Apple (no shipping charge, no tax). Here is a Slate article describing that.

RIP Best Buy.

Hat tip to Jason from the best Gaming Website out there.

full disclosure

About the author...

– who has written 2895 posts on ShoeMoney.com.

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of the ShoeMoney Blog, Elite Retreat Internet Conference, & the PAR Program. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 Amazon Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. Jeremy currently lives in Lincoln Nebraska with his wife and 2 daughters.


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{ 41 comments }

1 Oscar Gonzalez

If Amazon’s same day shipping pilot program works and they figure that out, the 2 day wait will be a non-issue very soon! — I think that Amazon will wait for BB to close most of their stores, then they can buy the remaining ones and leave one product of each in their inventory just for the customers that want to see/feel them and then just order them for same or next day delivery to their house.

2 Abbie

The older generation will keep the stores alive unlike the generation in school that does everything on their cellphones and at a touch of a finger now

3 Madeline

I am an impulse buyer so if I see it in,the store while I a, out running around and want It I just buy it because I don’t want to take the time to search the Internet

4 Tracie

I totally agree with you I buy more stuff online than at a physical store. I can’t stand crowds at all and the fact that the store may not even have what you are looking for

5 Madisyn

Do you think the shipping evens it all out with taxes and all?

6 Dave

Just an FYI, I believe Best Buy now price matches Amazon if you have the need it now mentality but want the Amazon price. The downside is taxes if that makes it worth it for you.

Also, Amazon does not give you free returns. They can provide you a label, but the cost of that comes out of the return credit.

7 PMG Guy

The only drawback is that state’s legislatures, like the blood suckers from Best Buy’s Corporate locale (MN for those of you in Lincoln :-P) are heading full steam toward taxation of mail order items. These tax grabs may be shoved upon the big players first… ie: Amazon, BestBuy Online, etc. thereby leaving a potential niche for the little guy, assuming they can sell somewhere below Amazon’s price with tax. But in the end Amazon has GREAT service, GREAT policies and FREE shipping. Tough to beat that!

8 Tamera

Shopping online is way easier and faster I believe however those people that are technically challenged like over half the world will keep stores open

9 Meg Geddes

Only time I go to Best Buy now is when something crucial like a router breaks down, and I have to have it same day. And last time I just bought two from Amazon, so now I have a backup.

When they first opened up, I used to go in there and they’d treat me like crap because I was female, and assume I didn’t really know what I wanted, and try to sell me the more expensive or in-stock stuff they wanted to push. Like *always*.

So when I got to be a UNIX tech manager, in the 90′s, I used to take my 10-12 techs out to dinner at Outback periodically, and for dinner we’d troop next door to Best Buy and play “confuse the tech sales dude” by asking them trick questions about Ethernet and disk stepping rates and so on.

#geekfun

10 Madisyn

Do you think the shipping evens it all out with taxes and all?

11 Darius

I honk you are. Right that stores help tose that are procrastinators and that really absolutely need/want something so bad they can’t wait two days

12 Marcus

They just closed a best buy by my house not to long ago. I was shocked one day it was there and the next week it was a liquidation sale. So crazy to no that the demand is going down

13 Darius

I honk you are. Right that stores help tose that are procrastinators and that really absolutely need/want something so bad they can’t wait two days

Shoemoney 14 Anonymous

This just shows how out of touch Shoemoney is with the real world… MOST people can’t “Google” a question and find an answer and be satisfied with that. Customer service in-store is HUGE! And… the immediacy factor – get it right now, this minute – is also HUGE! And finally… most people don’t even know what the HELL they’re going to buy – Yes, they might have an idea, but the experience of shopping and browsing for new “undiscovered” things is also HUGE. … There you are – 3 Reasons why Shoemoney should get out a little more and socialize with real people…

15 Brian

This just shows how out of touch Shoemoney is with the real world… 3 reasons: #1. MOST people can’t “Google” a question and find an answer and be satisfied with that. Customer service in-store is HUGE! #2. The immediacy factor – get it right now, this minute – is also HUGE! And finally… #3. Most people don’t even know what the HELL they’re going to buy – Yes, they might have an idea, but the experience of shopping and browsing for new “undiscovered” things is also HUGE. … There you are – 3 Reasons why Shoemoney should get out a little more and socialize with real people…

16 Goob

It’s nice to not pay taxes on Amazon purchases, but most states are actively fighting to change that, as I’m sure you know. Unfortunately here in NY they already forced Amazon’s hand.

17 Mckinley

I just buy all my shit off ebay… sooooo much cheaper!

18 Fredrick

I just wrote a paper about this two weeks ago!

19 Denny

They are in a downward spiral for sure!

20 Phil

Youre so right about the taxes, after awhile the amount of taxes you pay on that stuff starts to add up, and if you use Amazon Prime you get free shipping, ill gladly wait the 2 extra days.

21 Randall

200-500 stores?!?! Damn thats a lot, thats gotta be at least 3/4 of their stores.

22 Kiley

You are totally right about the customer service people being total idiots! I mean if you’re like my mom who is clueless then they do an alright job but I know waaayyy more then they do.

23 Paris

I wouldn’t say its too late, but it did need to be done sooner I think.

24 Shane

Best Buy needs to just salvage what they can and move to the online world with maybe a few stores still around or at least just make the size of current ones smaller.

25 Nino

500 stores? Damn… What are they going to do now with all the money they don’t have to pay for rent?

And don’t worry about the customer service…. guys like that are all over the world, including in Romania. You go and ask them: “Hey, that TV is FULL HD?” He answers: “Wait a bit while a read what says on the box”.

Seems like the online marketing will grow and grow and grow.

26 Ira

Best gaming website? Nahhh thats gotta be IGN dude!

27 faisal

If you can’t beat them, be them. That is what WorstBuy is following.

28 Jim Jacques

I purchase almost everything online than at a physical store. I can’t tolerate the rush at all.
The truth: The store do not even have the things you require nor the latest stuffs what you are searching for,m and the goods present are almost outdated.

29 Anup

Now the question is how much they’re gonna lost ;)

30 ADG

Best Buy’s online experience is freakin’ amazing. At least two times already I’ve requested a price adjustment after they dropped the price and I got it. Their definitely shifting focus to online and they’re doing a good job, so I wouldn’t say “goodbye best buy” just yet.

31 samn

Nothing beats going into a store – and actually trying a product, seeing it, feeling the quality.

You’ll all be pissed when it comes to buying your next tv – and you have to go on the reviews of others – instead of going in store – and seeing with your own eyes if the product is good or not.

Also — what about taking the product home the same daay. Maybe amazon will do 1 day delivery — but it’ll take time – and when you live in the middle of no-where like i do — no chance!! It’ll still be quicker for me to go into town and visit a store.

Also — returns! If theres a problem – a face to face talk with the returns department gets a refund sorted easy.

I’m 29 – but still like buying in store.

All the best buys closed here in the uk — they were great stores.

It’s time councils and local gov give our stores a break — otherwise amazon will hold the monopoly – and online prices will go up.

32 Doug Armey

By the way Amazon now collects sales tax on CA residents. The “Slate” article is out of date on that issue.

I buy mostly from Amazon but just bought a TV. Best Buy had the model in a size I wanted and Amazon didn’t. Ordered it on line yesterday and can pick it up today. Same price. And if there is an issue with it I can take it back to BB rather than shipping. Sometimes BB makes sense sometimes Amazon.

33 hoodmonkey

The local best buy space on 48th has been listed for lease on LoopNet for at least 2 years. I called the agent when I was looking for my first office back then and they were charging up the ass per square foot and everyone I talked to said nobody could succeed using the best buy store concept anymore.. they will probably go the circuit city route and sell to newegg and become an online only electronic store in the next few years.

34 Tl

This “news” blog is based on a false speculation. Best Buy has not announced it anywhere otherwise.

It’s straight up BS.

35 Matt

This article is totally false. Best buy has not released anything about closing any stores besides the 50 they already closed.

36 Dave Starr

I always like to start the day with a good joke to get me laughing over my coffee … thanks Shoe, this is a side-splitter:

by saying that people would always want a local place because of customer service.

Maybe as a company exec HE gets decent customer service at his own Best Buy stores … to me Best Buy is an organization dedicated to hiring age-discriminating, insulting and less than knowledgeable punks being paid to take up space and under-perform.

Nothing could see me happier than to see them close even more stores.

(and yes I am a grumpy old man .. an old man with high credit limits on his cards … amazing how so many businesses make a culture out of insulting older folks … when we are the ones with the spendable income … D’oh!)

37 Josh

I like how you make the generalization that all of the sales associates are idiots, but then spell the word “hassell”.

38 HoodMonkey

Josh (sheep #37) – you can attack spelling because you dont have the experience to see what the rest of us are talking about but you cant say the “sales associates” at this store are legitiametly (haha) trying their best to close sales..

josh imagine if you actually did sales for a living instead of just blogging or whatever – it would be a headache to walk into a store full of shitty sales people with chips on their shoulders.

39 up yours

I think your an idiot.If it wasnt for other morons following your moron advice,you would be worth the piss and shit in your body!I worked computers at best buy and had to put up with know it all pieces of shit like you all the time.I also had to go behind you and fix major fuck ups that your stupid advice leads customers into buying things they do not need and the things they should get they don’t.When their shit breaks down and costs them more to fix than what its worth.Then you and your tech savvy bullshit is nowhere to be found when its their wallet coming out to pay for your imposed delusions!

40 delusional much?

you are one ignorant fuckface, propaganda just spewing out of your mouth, youre no better than the companies you defame. go suck a cock.

41 best internet marketing

Nice post and the information given in this blog is really good.

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