Best Buy founder proposes $10 billion plan to save company

Customer exiting a Best Buy storeIt’s no secret physical retailers are being beaten into submission and replaced by online competitors. Remember Circuit City? Gone. CompUSA? Dead. Yet, somehow, in the face of online retailers like Amazon and others like it, Best Buy has been able to dig its claws into the dirt and stick around. More recently, the company has seen that footing slip. Earlier this year, Best Buy cut 2,400 jobs after closing 50 stores. Best Buy founder Richard Schulze, however, isn’t ready to let his baby go the way of its competitors. According to The Wall Street Journal, Schulze is proposing a risky $10 billion plan to buy out the company, slash prices, and ultimately revive Best Buy.

But the questions remain: What is Schulze’s plan exactly, and how will he raise $10 billion to pull it off? For starters, Schulze is targeting online retailers like Amazon, Newegg, and others like them, specifically attempting to offer competitive prices by lowering the current pricing at Best Buy. But it doesn’t take a financial genius to realize Amazon will always have Best Buy beat in the price department. Stocking physical locations with workers and product, paying maintenance bills, utility costs, leases, and whatever else contributes to a functional Best Buy store is always going to be more expensive than the upkeep needed for Amazon’s website and its handful of warehouses.

One redeeming aspect of Schulze’s plan is his desire to offer Apple-like customer service. At best, confident, knowledgeable employees would certainly provide a way in which Best Buy could actually compete with Web-based retailers. However, it may be a case of too little, too late.

As for the money, Schulze plans to use $1 billion from his personal fortune and raise the remaining $9 billion by convincing private equity firms his plan won’t tank. If he manages to pull it off, Schulze predicts Best Buy can cut $800 million in costs by 2015. Again, Schulze is being incredibly optimistic considering the company suffered a $1.2 billion loss in its last fiscal year.

Schulze’s grand vision may be admirable, but given the company’s most recent track, the chances of it succeeding are extremely slim. Do any of you still shop at Best Buy? Will you be sad to see it go? Or do you prefer to visit online options like Amazon? 

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: inflatable backpacks and robotic submarines

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (August 2018)

Prime Video gives subscribers access to a host of great movies, but sifting through the massive library isn't easy. Lucky for you, we've sorted the wheat from the chaff. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Computing

What's the best laptop? We've reviewed a lot of them -- and this is our answer

The best laptop should be one that checks all the boxes: Great battery life, beautiful design, and top-notch performance. The laptops we've chosen for our best laptops you can buy do all that — and throw in some extra features while…
Computing

PDF to JPG conversion is quick and easy using these simple methods

Converting file formats can be an absolute pain, but it doesn't have to be. We've put together a comprehensive guide on how to convert a PDF to JPG, no matter which operating system you're running.
Product Review

Recent production woes make the Eve V a worse buy than it once was

Our Eve V review looks at a crowdsourced detachable tablet that checks some boxes for its backers. Its delay in making it to the market holds it back in some areas, and Eve Technology is an unknown quantity.
Computing

With Q#, Microsoft is throwing programmers the keys to quantum

Quantum computers aren’t yet practical, but Microsoft has already developed a programming language for them. Q# works inside Visual Studio, just like most other languages, and could offer a gateway into the weird world of quantum physics.
Computing

Here's how to convert an MP4 to an MP3 file with online and offline tools

Sometimes you just want the audio without the video. In this guide, we'll show you how to convert an MP4 to an MP3 using web-based software and dedicated programs for both Windows and MacOS.
Computing

Crypto-intrigued? Here's how to buy Bitcoin for the first time

Is it time to purchase your first Bitcoin investment? If you're ready to get involved in the cryptocurrency, we'll walk you through how to pick an exchange, how to choose the right wallet, and how to buy Bitcoin the safe way!
Product Review

Dell's classic 4K P2715Q monitor still holds up today

The Dell P2715Q might not be the most modern of 4K displays, but its IPS panel, extensive connectivity, and easily adjusted stand make it more than competitive with the newest crop of screens.
Computing

Style up your MacBook Air with one of these great cases or sleeves

Whether you’re looking for added protection or a stylish flourish, you’re in the right place for the best MacBook Air cases. We have form-hugging cases, luxurious covers and padded sleeves priced from $7 to $130. Happy shopping!
Computing

Art-inspired face blurring can obscure identity without losing humanity

Researchers have developed an AI-generated anonymity system that “paints” over video frames, using inspiration from masters like Picasso and Van Gogh to reimagine a person’s appearance. The goal is to minimize outer resemblance but…
Cars

Nvidia ‘more than happy to help’ if Tesla’s self-driving chip doesn’t pan out

After Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the intention to use an in-house Autopilot chip, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang responded to an analyst's question, saying that if the Tesla chip doesn't work out, he'd be more than happy to help.
Product Review

Dell's XPS 15 is the PC every laptop wishes it could be

Not everyone needs the power that a laptop like the Dell XPS 15 provides. But if you need a computer that can handle the heavy workload you use every day, the XPS 15 might be the best you can buy.