Receipt Checking No Longer Required at Best Buy
Best Buy has reassigned 2,000 security personal at the front of the store to the sales floor. The move was designed to better help, better welcome or stop annoying shoppers — or all of the above.
The front door security routine called for checking customer’s receipts as they exited. But complaints partly led to the workers’ reassignment, which quietly happened in July.
"It’s evidence of us listening to our customers, who told us that they don’t like having their receipts checked," Kelly Groehler, a spokesperson for Best Buy, told the Pioneer Press in Minnesota. "We removed a pain point they didn’t like."
The move also reflects efforts to increase interactions between managers and consumers. The stores will still have greeters but apparently removing the security personal encourages managers to remain in front. Ms. Groehler told Bloomberg News, "It puts more emphasis on assistant managers and the general manager of the store engaging with customers when they walk in."
Finally, the Bloomberg article implied that shifting the 2,000 security workers to its sales floor supports the intention of Best Buy’s new CEO, Hubert Joly, to put more focus on customer service. None of the security workers were laid off.
In an interview with Bloomberg on Sept. 6, Mr. Joly said training will be notably increased with a goal of making associates "an undisputed point of reference" for customers.
Illustrating this, the former CEO of Carlson Cos., the hotels, restaurants and a travel company that includes T.G.I. Friday’s and Radisson, spent his first week on the job working as a Blue Shirt in several Best Buy locations in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. His Blue Shirt tenure included a house call with Geek Squad technicians to calibrate a television.
"The last time I worked in a store was in 1975," Mr. Joly said in an interview with Reuters last week. "I want to not learn our businesses from the headquarters. I want to learn from the front line."
Besides enhancing customer service, other near-term fixes include cutting non-salary expenses, maintaining competitive prices, securing ample hot product, and expanding its smaller store base that focuses on mobile devices. The second quarter marked the eighth consecutive quarter of same-store declines by Best Buy.
- Best Buy Moves 2,000 Loss-Prevention Workers to Sales – Bloomberg
- Best Buy CEO Says Employee Training Key to Reviving Stores – Bloomberg
- Best Buy’s new CEO wants to learn from the front line – Reuters
- The Real Reason Best Buy’s New CEO Is Going To Spend Time Working On A Sales Floor – Business Insider
First, what are the benefits as well as the risks of the security personal reassignment? Second, what tangible and symbolic benefits were likely gained by Mr. Joly spending a week on the selling floor?