This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Apple Should Fire Another Nail Into Best Buy's Coffin

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Ever since visiting Target's (TGT) underwhelming urban concept store -- CityTarget -- in Southern California, I intensified my thinking on The Death and Life of Great American Retailers.

Everybody else has him doing it lately so, Steve Jobs must be rolling in his grave as he observes what's happening in brick-and-mortar retail.

Jobs certainly whiffs a not-so-surprised laugh when he thinks of Steve Ballmer and Microsoft (MSFT)stuck in the mud somewhere in the swamps of Redmond.

But when he looks at retail, outside of Tesla Motors' (TSLA) righteous and honorable cover of Apple Stores, Jobs must be sad. For example, how do you think he feels about his former rank-and-file employee -- and, presumably, close friend -- Ron Johnson's obscene performance at JC Penney (JCP)? He can't be pleased, especially after Johnson bragged about everything he thought he had accomplished at Apple.

As I contemplate Apple's present situation, best summed up as an innovative standstill that doesn't really matter right now because the competition sucks so badly, I wonder what Jobs thinks about Best Buy (BBY - Get Report), assuming the hapless retailer even crosses his mind.

When Jobs came back to Apple, he pretty much did the opposite of everything Tim Cook is doing right now. Granted, he re-started running the company under much different circumstances, but instead of expanding product lines he cut them down to focus on a straightforward core of products. As much as that core expanded, from the Mac to a sleek selection of iProducts, it felt like it stayed small and exclusive.

Now, with iPads and iPhones apparently heading in iPods' direction, it doesn't bother me to see Apple go through a period of relatively sleepy evolution as much as it's scary to watch the selection it offers bloat.

I would expect Jobs to take things in completely the opposite direction. He might have done iPad mini (because it ended up getting done really well), but I highly doubt he would be on track to expand color schemes -- like he did with iPod -- and go cheap with iPhone. And, even though Apple certainly fleeces them on price, I bet he would pull Apple products from irrelevant black holes such as Best Buy.

If consumers have dissociated themselves from Best Buy, why shouldn't Apple? They're slumming it. That's not what Apple needs right now. The image that deserves credit for making Apple all it is today -- a premium, relatively high-end aspirational brand -- has come under assault from within the guts of Cupertino. Tim Cook needs to change that. Do you feel the sense of urgency like I do?

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
AAPL $124.25 -0.14%
BBY $37.21 -1.53%
FB $81.66 -0.67%
GOOG $542.56 -0.99%
TSLA $187.59 -0.63%


DOW 17,698.18 -77.94 -0.44%
S&P 500 2,059.69 -8.20 -0.40%
NASDAQ 4,880.2280 -20.6570 -0.42%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs