I really missed the timing of demise due to manipulation of WS and you all getting lucky with the wash. But...just like JCP...and many more to come. Thanks Mom and Dad for that college education!:
Best Buy is a Dinosaur and Canary
You might be tempted to lump recent news about Best Buy’s disappointing holiday performance into the long-running narrative about that retail giant’s slow slide toward irrelevance and extinction. Don’t. Or, at least, don’t stop there. There’s more to the story. And it makes the story even uglier—not only for Best Buy.
Yes, Best Buy is a dinosaur. But it is also a canary. The cause of its bleak quarter is an early warning for Apple, Samsung and others that hope to continue extracting riches from smartphones. It also signals strategic opportunities for Google, Microsoft, Amazon and others.
Best Buy is being slowly and perhaps inexorably Amazoned. The fact that Best Buy has survived thus far is a tribute to the great retailer that Richard Schulze, Brad Anderson and others built. Unlike Circuit City, Best Buy has yet to crash into the ground—but only because it has so far to fall.
Let’s face it: The game is rigged against Best Buy. How else to describe a competitive dynamic where it has to compete on price against Amazon? Best Buy is battling a competitor that has a structural cost advantage, higher customer satisfaction and carte blanche from its investors to operate at slim margins.
Hubert Joly, Best Buy’s latest CEO, seems to be doing a valiant job of cutting costs. To win, however, he has to become more efficient than Amazon while improving customer satisfaction and delivering the higher margins that his own investors demand. What are the odds of that?
There will be ups and downs for traders in Best Buy’s stock (as the last 12 months demonstrate) but for long-term investors and the company itself, the trajectory is not promising.