“So much of our business success comes down to understanding consumer behaviour,” explains Joe Brandt, a store service manager at one of Best Buy’s newest stores. “What we do is we try to keep our ear to the railroad tracks. In essence, we listen to the customer to be able to change on a dime when a customer wants us to tailor that experience a certain way and provide certain shopping experiences and certain services.”
“Consumers look at a lot of different things,” Joe added. “They look at brands, shopability of the store, how easy it is to navigate the store, how pleasant the employees are, price, and how we take care of the customer.” Overall there are many factors that “customers look at when they’re making a purchase decision.”
Best Buy is the world’s largest consumer electronics retailer with 1,172 stores, 140,000 employees, and $35.9 billion in revenue. Its U.S. and Canadian market share is almost 20 percent, far ahead of rivals Wal-Mart and Costco.
Best Buy operates superstores which provide a limited number of product categories with great depth within the categories. The retailer sells consumer electronics, home office products, appliances, entertainment software and related services. In addition to its U.S. and Canadian stores, Best Buy has recently opened stores in China and has announced plans to open stores in Puerto Rico, Mexico and Turkey. Best Buy also offers its products online through bestbuy.com, and design and installation services through Geek Squad and Magnolia Audio and Video.
Best Buy began as The Sound of Music, a small specialty audio retailer, in 1966. A tornado severely damaged one of its stores in 1981. Instead of closing the store for repairs, Dick Schulze, the owner, had a tornado sale in which more goods were brought in from its other stores and prices were slashed. The sale was so successful that it was repeated the following two years. “When the tornado...