Does Best Buy now have its own summer Black Friday?
Black Friday has long been retail’s biggest holiday. And while Amazon’s Prime Day seems to have emerged as the Black Friday of the summer, the e-tail giant might not have the market cornered on new branded, seasonal shopping events.
On the weekend of August 18th, Best Buy held a 51st anniversary sales event, described as Black Friday-like by CNET. While 51 might seem like an odd birthday to celebrate, the sale was a follow-up to the previous year’s 50th anniversary sale, which proved successful for the retailer. Like the 2016 sale, this year’s was a 50-hour-long event with significant discounts on computers and tech gadgets.
While Best Buy might not be at the top of the retail food chain as it was at the height of big box electronics retail in the ’90s, the retailer seems to have successfully turned itself around after a serious, protracted slump.
Under the leadership of CEO Hubert Joly, the chain has implemented a slew of changes to meet the demands of the new retail landscape. For instance, Best Buy has opened stores-within-a-store for major brands like Samsung and has begun to focus on the emerging consumer-facing IoT/smart home market. Best Buy has begun using its Geek Squad to manage smart home installations for customers, with a special service package aimed at the growing niche of adults using smart home solutions to care for their aging parents.
Analysts anticipate Best Buy matching or beating U.S. same-store sales this quarter according to Seeking Alpha.
But even with Best Buy’s gains, it’s unclear whether a yearly anniversary sale could have the same impact that Amazon Prime Day has had on the retail landscape.
In July, this year’s Prime Day (a 30-hour long event as opposed to the Best Buy’s 50-hour sale) was so successful that it reportedly drew not just online shopping traffic but physical store visits from its many competing retailers. One study by Sense360 reported a 24 percent drop off, on average, of foot traffic to a cross section of big box retailers, including Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Home Depot, Target and Best Buy.
- Best Buy’s 50-hour ‘Black-Friday like’ sale returns tonight – CNET
- Best Buy store sales seen topping estimates – Seeking Alpha
- Can Best Buy build momentum with new services and IoT? – RetailWire
- Is Best Buy’s latest Geek Squad service a blueprint for niche IT? – RetailWire
- How much did Amazon’s Prime Day hurt rival retailers? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Given the popularity of Black Friday and Prime Day, is it worth it for retailers to develop their own retail holidays? What makes a sale like Best Buy’s worth having, and what could the chain do to further capitalize on the event?