Monday, November 23, 2015

Best Buy In Trouble and Opportunities

You should be reading David Stockman every day, and to do so sign up for his email roundup.  Yesterday came an article about another big box store in trouble, which is great news for small business.  Like GM, McDonalds, BankofAmerica, bad news for them is great news for humanity.  In this case electronics king Best Buy cannot pull it out:

Best Buy Co. shares fell after the retailer’s sales missed estimates, raising doubts about its turnaround bid and the health of the broader electronics industry.
Revenue slid 2.4 percent to $8.82 billion in the quarter that ended Oct. 31
The slump also brings a higher hurdle to Joly’s three-year comeback attempt. He initially focused on cutting costs, including selling off foreign divisions in China and Europe. But investors have been waiting for the company to show stronger revenue growth, and Best Buy disappointed on that front this quarter. 

2.4% of 8.8 bil is $21 mil in sales that did not happen that quarter.  $21 million in goods not made, goods not shipped, not warehoused.  That means there is excess capacity in all these areas, and at the production level, there are plant owners looking for work.
Both Target Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. also reported disappointing sales of gadgets and other technology earlier this week. Demand for tablets — a hot product in past years — has been particularly weak.
I have not bought a tablet because they charge too much to do too much.  I want them to do far less, which I assume means faster.  Apples new software (pages, numbers) are poorly designed, I am still using 1990s programs because anything newer is counterproductive.

Sounding like Charlie Sheen on meth, the CEO of Best Buy summarizes and assesses:

In an interview, Joly pointed out that industrywide sales of U.S. consumer electronics tracked by NPD Group fell 4.3 percent during the third quarter while Best Buy’s same-store sales rose, meaning that the chain gained market share. The company expects a similar decline in the industry for the current quarter. The categories tracked by NPD, which include computers and televisions but not phones and appliances, represent about 65 percent of Best Buy’s domestic revenue.
“That’s why I say we are crushing it,” Joly said. “We are winning in the market.”

Winning!  Your business is dying, just not as fast as others, so relatively speaking, you are picking up market share.
The company has more space dedicated to top brands like Apple and Sony and is situated the best to sell burgeoning categories such as connected home devices, ultra-high definition television and wearable computers.
You cannot discount those, and you are a discounter.  You tried the high end service and specialty when you bought Magnolia Hi Fi, and how has that done for you?

And when all else fails get back to fantasy:
The company also is revamping its e-commerce operations and adding more space for services such as home-theater setup.
Implicit example that internet marketing is a non-starter, if they need a re-do on what they were doing.

If consumer electronics is your thing, a vacuum is being created as both the ability to offer discount and the demand for same is dropping at the same time.  The vacuum is not dollar for dollar, just a shift in which what customers are left are more discerning, price is not the main thing.  I'd buy a simpler tablet, bit not these gee-whiz do everything efficiency killers.  I'd prefer a task-oriented tablet for each task, rather than a one-tablet does all...  Would enough others in USA to cover the supplier's minimum in a workable amount of time profitably??  A hypothesis worth testing.

I guarantee you the tablet makers would listen to new ideas today.

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