A news story at the end of December got plenty of attention from RetailWire panelists: The failure of BestBuy.com to fulfill Black Friday orders in several categories and (worse yet) their failure to notify customers until just before Christmas. Here’s my take on the situation:
While it’s not likely that Best Buy planned some sort of “bait and switch” maneuver, it leaves a disagreeable taste in its customers’ mouths. This is a failure on so many fronts: The worst offense is the lag time between order placement and cancellation. (At least Best Buy acknowledged this problem.) But it’s almost as negligent for Best Buy to have accepted orders in the first place — at narrow gross margins — that it was unprepared to fill.
Is the company’s inventory forecasting or IT management that bad? (Perhaps Best Buy hired the person that mismanaged the Missoni launch at Target in September.) An online apology and gift card is not going to rebuild trust in Best Buy anytime soon.