Best Buy Co., Inc. history, profile and history video
Best Buy Co., Inc. is a multinational retailer, which provides consumer electronics, home office products, entertainment products, appliances and related services. The company operates through two business segments: Domestic and International. The Domestic segment is comprised of the operations in all states, districts and territories of the U.S., operating under various brand names, including but not limited to, Best Buy, Best Buy Mobile, Geek Squad, Magnolia Audio Video, Napster and Pacific Sales. The International segment is comprised of all operations outside the U.S. and its territories, which includes Canada, Europe, China, Mexico and Turkey. The company also markets its products under the brand names: Best Buy, Audiovisions, Best Buy Mobile, The Carphone Warehouse, Five Star, Future Shop, Geek Squad, Magnolia Audio Video, Napster, Pacific Sales and The Phone House. The company changed its name from Sound of Music, Inc. to Best Buy Co., Inc. in 1983. Best Buy was founded by Richard M. Schulze in 1966 and is headquartered in Richfield, MN.“
“Best Buy History
In 1966, Richard M. Schulze and a business partner opened Sound of Music, an electronics store specializing in high fidelity stereos in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Schulze financed the opening of his first store with his personal savings and a second mortgage he took out on his family’s home. In 1967, Sound of Music acquired Kencraft Hi-Fi Company and Bergo Company. Sound of Music pulled in $1 million in revenue and made about $58,000 in profits in its first year. By 1969, Schulze had bought out his business partner, Sound of Music had three stores and the company became a publicly held company listed on the NASDAQexchange.
Sound of Music operated nine stores throughout Minnesota by 1978. In 1981, the Roseville, Minnesota Sound of Music location, at the time the largest and most profitable Sound of Music store, was hit by a tornado. The store’s roof was sheared off and showroom destroyed, but the storeroom was left intact. In response, Schulze decided to have a “Tornado Sale” of damaged and excess stock in the damaged store’s parking lot. He poured the remainder of his marketing budget into advertising the sale, promising “best buys” on everything. Sound of Music made more money during the four-day sale than it did in a typical month.
In 1983, with seven stores and $10 million in annual sales, Sound of Music was renamed Best Buy Company, Inc. The company also expanded its product offerings to include home appliances and VCRs, in an attempt to expand beyond its then-core customer base of 15-to-18-year-old males. Later that year Best Buy opened its first superstore in Burnsville, Minnesota. The Burnsville location featured a high-volume, low price business model, which was borrowed partially from Schulze’s successful Tornado Sale in 1981. In its first year, the Burnsville store out-preformed all other Best Buy stores combined.
Best Buy debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in 1987. In 1989, the company introduced a new store concept dubbed “Concept II.” Concept II replaced dimly lit industrial-style stores with brighter and more fashionably fixtured stores. Stores also began placing all stock on the sales floor rather than in a stock room, had fewer salespersons and provided more self-help product information for its customers. Best Buy also did away with commissioned salespeople. The commission-free sales environment “created a more relaxed shopping environment free of the high-pressure sales tactics used in other stores,” but was unpopular with salespersons and suppliers. Some suppliers, such as Maytag, Whirlpool and Sony, were upset that salespeople would no longer be pushing their products and stopped selling their wares in Best Buy stores. The suppliers returned after Best Buy’s sales and revenue grew following the roll-out of Concept II.
In 1992, it hit the $1 billion mark in annual revenues. In 1995, Best Buy debuted “Concept III” stores, which were larger than its previous stores. The Concept III stores included expanded product offerings; interactive touchscreen kiosks that displayed product information for both customers and employees; and demonstration areas for products such as surround sound stereo systems and videogames.
Best Buy launched its “Concept IV” stores with its expansion into New England in 1998.[ Concept IV stores included an open layout with products organized by category, cash registers located throughout the store, and slightly smaller stores than Concept III stores. The stores also had large areas for demonstrating home theater systems and computer software.
In 1999, Best Buy was added to Standard & Poor’s S&P 500.
In January 2001, Best Buy acquired Musicland Stores Corporation, a Minnetonka, Minnesota-based retailer that sold home entertainment products under the Sam Goody, Suncoast Motion Picture Company, Media Play and OnCue brands. Best Buy purchased the company for $425 million in cash and the assumption of $271 million of Musicland debt. Later that year, Best Buy acquired the British Columbia, Canada-based electronics-chain Future Shop Ltd., marking its entrance to the international marketplace. Under the deal, Future Shop was purchased for approximately $377 million and continued to operate as subsidiary independent from Best Buy Canada.
Brad Anderson succeeded Richard Schulze as Best Buy CEO in July 2002. Anderson had begun working at Best Buy in 1973 while attending seminary school. He was promoted to vice president in 1981 and executive vice president in 1986. Anderson had most recently served as president and COO of Best Buy, a position he had held since 1991. In September of that year, Best Buy opened the first Canadian Best Buy-branded store in Mississauga, Ontario. In October, Best Buy acquired Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Geek Squad, then a 24-hour residential computer repair business with offices in Minneapolis, Chicago, Illinois, Los Angeles, California and San Francisco, California.
Best Buy stores in the U.S. surpassed the 600-store mark and the company opened its first global-sourcing office in Shanghai, China in 2003. In June, Best Buy divested itself of Musicland in a deal with Sun Capital Partners under which Sun Capital received all of Musicland’s stock and debt. Best Buy launched its “Reward Zone” loyalty program in July following an 8-month test of the program inSan Diego, California. Also in 2003, Best Buy’s corporate offices were consolidated into a single campus in Richfield, Minnesota.
In January 2004, Best Buy hired Virtucom Group to revamp Best Buy’s website and handle all of the company’s online content. In May, the company launched its “customer centricty” program, which segmented its stores according to customer profiles. The program also called for employees to focus on specific customer groups rather than product categories. In October, Best Buy completed rolling out Geek Squad “precincts” in every American Best Buy store.
In April 2005, Best Buy began eliminating mail-in rebates.
In May 2006, Best Buy acquired a majority interest in Chinese appliance retailer Jiangsu Five Star Appliance for $180 million. At the time of the deal, Jiangsu was the fourth-largest appliance chain in China with 193 stores across eight Chinese provinces. In June, the company opened Geek Squad precincts at Office Depot in Orlando, Florida. The market test was later expanded to Denver Colorado.
In January 2007, the first Best Buy-branded store in China officially opened in Shanghai, China. In March 2007, Best Buy acquired Speakeasy, a Seattle, Washington-based broadband VOIP, data and IT services provider. The acquisition was worth $80 million and, under terms of the deal, Speakeasy began operating as a wholly owned subsidiary of Best Buy. The company’s products also became part of Best Buy’s For Business program. Best Buy also expanded its Geek Squad market tests in March, opening Geek Squad precincts in FedEx Kinkos stores located in Indianapolis, Indiana and Charlotte, North Carolina. In October 2007, Best Buy became the first consumer-electronics retailer to exit the analog television market, carrying only digital products that became mandatory in June 2009 by the FCC.
In February 2008, Best Buy opened its first store in Puerto Rico. Best Buy’s Geek Squad market tests in Office Depot and FedEx Kinkos stores ended by March. Also in March, the company began promoting the Blu-ray optical-disc format over the HD DVD format, a move which ultimately contributed to Toshiba’s decision to drop HD DVD. In May, the company agreed to buy 50% of the retail division of The Carphone Warehouse, a London, England-based mobile phone retailer. The deal was worth $2.1 billion.
In July 2008, Best Buy announced that it would start selling musical instruments and related gear in over 80 of its retail stores, making the company the second-largest musical-instrument distributor in the US. Best Buy became the first third-party retail seller of Apple’s iPhone in September. Later that month, the company agreed to acquire Napster for $121 million. In December, Best Buy opened its first store in Mexico.
In February 2009, Best Buy leveraged its partnership with The Carphone Warehouse to launch Best Buy Mobile, a Best Buy-branded mobile retailer. Best Buy Mobile standalone stores were opened in shopping malls and urban downtowns. Best Buy Mobile were also added in all Best Buy-branded stores.
In June 2009, Brian Dunn became Best Buy CEO. Dunn replaced Brad Anderson, who was retiring. Dunn had joined Best Buy in 1985 as a sales associate. In 2000, Dunn became senior vice president of East Coast operations and president of North American retail operations in 2004. He had most recently served as president of Best Buy, a position he had held since 2006.
Best Buy partnered with Roxio’s CinemaNow to launch an on-demand movie download service that would allow customers to stream content to any device sold by Best Buy that connected to the Internet in November 2009. In December, the first Turkish Best Buy opened in İzmir.
In April 2010, Best Buy opened its first United Kingdom-based Best Buy-branded store in Thurrock. The company eventually opened 11 Best Buy stores in the United Kingdom. The company closed all UK-based Best Buy stores in November 2011. That same month Best Buy purchased The Carphone Warehouse’s share of Best Buy Mobile for $1.3 billion. Best Buy and The Carphone Warehouse maintained their Best Buy Europe joint venture, which at the time operated 2,500 mobile phone stores throughout Europe.
The company closed all of its Best Buy-branded stores in China by February 2011, when it merged Best Buy China’s operations with Jiangsu Five Star, which had become a wholly owned subsidiary of Best Buy in 2009. In December 2011, Best Buy purchased mindSHIFT Technologies, a company that provided IT support for small and medium-sized businesses, for $167 million.
In 2012, in response to overall revenue decline, Best Buy announced plans to undergo a “transformation strategy”. Stores began to adopt a redesigned “Connected Store” format, providing the Geek Squad with a centralized service desk and implementing a “store-within-a-store” concept for Pacific Kitchen & Bath and Magnolia Design Center.
In April 2012, Brian Dunn resigned as Best Buy’s CEO during an internal company investigation into allegations of personal misconduct stemming from an inappropriate relationship with a female Best Buy employee. Best Buy named Director G. Mike Mikan interim CEO following Dunn’s resignation. The internal investigation was released in May 2012 and alleged that Best Buy founder and chairman Richard Schulze knew of Dunn’s inappropriate relationship and failed to notify the Best Buy board. Schulze subsequently resigned his chairmanship of the company. Best Buy Director Hatim Tyabji replaced Schulze as Best Buy chairman.
Hubert Joly replaced G. Mike Mikan as Best Buy CEO in September 2012. Joly had previously served as CEO of Carlson, a hospitality conglomerate, since 2008.
In April 2013, Best Buy exited the European consumer electronics market when it sold its 50% stake in Carphone Warehouse back to the UK-based mobile phone retailer. The sale was worth approximately $775 million.”
*Information from Forbes.com and Wikipedia.org
**Video published on YouTube by “David Preece“