Best Buy Going Mobile in a Small Way
Best Buy plans to open somewhere between 75 and 100 of its 1,500 square-foot
mobile phone stores this year in addition to the 77 it currently has in operation.
The retailer, which currently represents about four percent of mobile sales
in the U.S., is hoping the smaller stores will help it increase its share of
the market to 15 percent.
Eventually, Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn told the Financial Times, the chain
plans to have up to 1,000 of the stores in operation.
The beauty of the smaller
format, according to Mr. Dunn, is that it brings in new shoppers who aren’t
shopping at Best Buy’s standalone big box stores. “Typically
this consumer is female … a mom with a couple of kids. These are incremental
connections we are making,” he said.
Up to now, Mr. Dunn told the Financial Times, “Buying a cellphone
in this country scored below going to the dentist.” He added, “It
is not the top-performing area in our stores for customer experience.”
Best Buy is looking for its small stores to take a bite out of RadioShack
and Wal-Mart’s mobile business. RadioShack has also tested a store concept
targeted to consumers of mobile devices.
Discussion Questions: In what ways do you think the customer experience
has failed when it comes to mobile devices? What are your
solutions for fixing current shortcomings and do you think Best Buy is on
the right track with its focus on mobile?