Best Buy to close 50 stores, open 100 mobile-only stores

best buy

The last big electronics retailer may be starting to crumble. Best Buy has reported a big loss of $1.7 billion during the first three months of 2012. This compares to $651 million in profit one year ago. To turn things around, and keep shareholders happy, it has announced some rather drastic new plans. The company will axe 50 of its “big box” large stores around the United States in the next year and open up 100 small Best Buy Mobile stores, which will only sell small items, mostly smartphones. In addition, it also plans increase online sales by 13 percent. But the real goal on its horizon is China. 

Brian J. Dunn, CEO of Best Buy: “…we intend to strengthen our portfolio of store formats and footprints — closing some big box stores, modifying others to our enhanced Connected Store format, and adding Best Buy Mobile stand-alone locations — all to provide a better shopping environment for our customers across multiple channels while increasing points of presence, and to improve performance and profitability. These changes will also help lower our overall cost structure. We intend to invest some of these cost savings into offering new and improved customer experiences and competitive prices — which will help drive revenue. And, over time, we expect some of the savings will fall to the bottom line. At the same time, we will continue to accelerate our key initiatives — growing connections and services, expanding our digital capabilities and growing our business in China.

Best Buy’s goal is to increase its overall number of stores, but decrease its total square footage, as it just doesn’t need as much space as it did 10 years ago. Electronics keep getting smaller, after all, and sales of media like DVDs and CDs have been dropping steadily. It will also turn its stores into “Connected Stores,” which have a more inviting layout and focus on “connections, services, and multi-channel experience.” If you’re wondering exactly what a “multi-channel experience” is, you’re not alone. The only thing we do know is that by “connected,” the company means it will focus on mobile phone sales and other types of service activations like broadband Internet or video services like Best Buy CinemaNow. Instead of selling items, the retailer wants to start selling more subscriptions and services.

China also remains a largely untapped market. Like so many companies, Best Buy hopes it can open stores and make customers of the 1.3 billion potential electronics owners who live there.

The full year report can be read here, but we warn you, it’s quite lengthy. In any case, it looks like Best Buy has a tough road ahead. Have you or would you purchase your phone from Best Buy? 

Update: Corrected a couple typos. Added line on China

Business

4 women innovators who are using tech to help others live better lives

Meet four women leaders who are not only at the forefront of technology today, but also using tech — from robotics and medicine to food and undergarments — to help others.
Home Theater

The best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2019.
Computing

Tired of choosing between Windows and Mac? Check out these Chromebooks instead

We've compiled a list of the best Chromebooks -- laptops that combine great battery life, comfortable keyboards, and the performance it takes to run Google's lightweight Chrome OS. From Samsung to Acer, these are the Chromebooks that really…
Mobile

What's the difference between 4G and LTE ... and does it even matter?

Wireless standards are confusing -- it doesn't matter if you're talking about 4G, LTE, WiMax, or others. Here, we break down the differences between 4G and LTE so you can make sense of how they play out in real-world scenarios.
Computing

Teens using Google Docs as the modern version of passing notes in class

Google Docs is reportedly being used by teens as a secret communications app. Instead of passing notes, students are now using the software's live chat function or comment boxes to talk with their friends while in the middle of classes.
Emerging Tech

A.I.-generated text is supercharging fake news. This is how we fight back

A new A.I. tool is reportedly able to spot passages of text written by algorithm. Here's why similar systems might prove essential in a world of fake news created by smart machines.
Computing

HP’s Omen Mindframe headset keeps your ears chill, but might leave you lukewarm

The Omen Mindframe headset uses HP's FrostCap technology to keep ears cool during long gaming sections. While it delivers on keeping ears cool, it forgets some of the essentials of a quality gaming headset.
Computing

Windows updates shouldn't cause problems, but if they do, here's how to fix them

Windows update not working? It's a more common problem than you might think. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot it and in this guide we'll break them down for you step by step.
Computing

Here’s how you can watch today’s Nvidia GTC 2019 keynote live

Nvidia's rumored 7nm Ampere graphics could debut soon. The company will be kicking off its GPU Technology conference at 2 p.m. PT today, Monday, March 18, and you can watch the opening keynote here.
Computing

After fourth attack, hacker puts personal records of 26M people up for sale

A serial hacker going by the name of Gnosticplayers is selling the personal data of 26 million people who have been using the services of six different companies from across the world.
Computing

There’s more space on MySpace after ‘accidental’ wipe of 50 million songs

MySpace is no longer a safe refuge for music and media produced in the 2000s. It said that almost any artistic content uploaded to the site between 2003 and 2015 may have been lost as part of a server migration last year.
Computing

HP’s spring sale cuts prices on the 15-inch Spectre x360 by $270

Looking for a new laptop to start off the spring season? HP has you covered and is currently running a sale that is cutting $270 off the price of the 15-inch touchscreen variant of its Spectre X360 Windows 10 convertible laptop. 
Computing

Intel and Facebook team up to give Cooper Lake an artificial intelligence boost

Intel's upcoming Cooper Lake microarchitecture will be getting a boost when it comes to artificial intelligence processes, thanks to a partnership with Facebook. The results are CPUs that are able to work faster.
Computing

Dodge the cryptojackers with the best torrent clients available today

Looking for the best torrent clients to help you share all of that wonderful legal content you own? Here's a list of our favorite torrent clients, all packed with great features while dodging malware and adverts.