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.
- Taxes – I gotta pay taxes on local purchases. With Amazon I do not (at the store).
- 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.
- Returns – Why go through the hassell? Amazon and Zappos have a no questions asked refund policy. And they even pay for shipping both ways.
- 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.