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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Best Buy's(BBY - Get Report) board of directors blew it. Shareholders should demand that, to a person, they're removed and held in contempt.
The board let investors down. It let Best Buy employees down. And, from a broad perspective, it let the largely pathetic retail space down.
If it stays the present course, Best Buy will go out of business.
The company must capture the
Whole Foods Market(WFM) audiences and all those in between.
But how do you create a retail environment that brings shoppers from diverse backgrounds together under one roof? And keeps them coming back irrespective of how technologically advanced society becomes?
An environment that serves low-income households; people crazy enough to camp out for a Black Friday deal; folks who, to save a couple bucks, will buy an iPad from Best Buy, forgoing the
Apple(AAPL) experience; and the well-off who drop thousands on guitars, refrigerators and home entertainment setups with a relatively carefree regularity.
An environment that makes Best Buy cool like Apple or
Lululemon(LULU), as convenient as
Amazon.com(AMZN) and as progressive technologically as
Starbucks(SBUX - Get Report).
That's quite the task. And there's no way in hell Hubert Joly -- the man Best Buy plugged its CEO hole with -- can get it done.
With that in mind, I finally got around to watching Best Buy's Analyst and Investor Day
Webcast from earlier this month.
The experience killed nearly all hope and optimism -- expressed
here -- I had for Best Buy.
I gave Best Buy the benefit of the doubt because it hired young and tech-minded Stephen Gillett away from Starbucks where he helped pioneer
the company's superior mobile and digital efforts.
For a minute, I thought Best Buy might follow in the footsteps of
Yahoo!(YHOO), who hired the youthful, aggressive and with-it Marissa Mayer as CEO.
It made too much sense. Best Buy loaded Gillett with responsibility and oversight (see my previous BBY articles for details). It flowed logically that you give the guy free reign to transform Best Buy into the type of retailer he played a key role in helping Starbucks become.