Is this Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly's vision? Is this what makes him a turnaround specialist?
We built it and managed to stick around so people will come. And we'll focus the business on super-serving people who might not be the most tech savvy in the world. (And, as somebody who uses technology to interact with Cramer on a daily basis, I think he sells himself short in that regard).
While I understand and appreciate the demographic makeup of the U.S., I just can't imagine building a technology-based business around customers who can't seem to connect some wires and press a few buttons (and, again, I think most people
capable, but, if they have the means, leave the elbow grease to the Geek Squad). And then Best Buy's other attraction is price -- we'll sell you stuff for what the online guys sell you stuff for.
This is the product of the decade-long butt whipping
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and others administered to Best Buy? To stress customer service and price. Isn't that what
have been doing since the mid-to-late 1800s? This is the transformation Joly is bringing to big box retail?
Somebody has been hanging out with Ron Johnson
. Joly and Johnson: Masters of the culture of obviousness.
While this hollow resurgence might lift the stock price --
trade if you made/are making it -- it's a toxic recipe for Best Buy as well as the brick and mortar space's long-term sustainability.
Best Buy is doing nothing to prevent itself from getting its butt whipped once or a dozen more times before the decade expires. It's not positioning itself to innovate and avoid getting out-innovated; rather it's hanging on for survival with a set of unimaginative, reactionary moves it should have made when Jeff Bezos was busy visioning in the mid-1990s.
Go long at your own risk. But don't think for a second you're making an investment; you're making a trade in a stock floated by a company setting up to make the same types of mistakes twice.
Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.