Best Buy botches holiday fulfillment

A news story at the end of December got plenty of attention from RetailWire panelists: The failure of 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.


1 Response to “Best Buy botches holiday fulfillment”

  1. 1 Nelson Serrano January 17, 2012 at 10:55 am

    On December 13th 2011 we had ordered several items from for a combined birthday-Christmas gift. A week, or so
    after placing the order we received an email from Best Buy explaining that some of the items we had ordered are on “back order”
    and will be shipped in about two weeks. Please keep in mind that when we ordered this there were many, many “out of stock”
    items on the website. and, that every item that was selected for our order was “available and ready for shipping” according to the website.
    This was very upsetting news, but we understood that things happen and that we would just have to wait. Thursday, January 12, 2012
    – we received another email from Best Buy. Informing us that one of the items we ordered is “no longer available” and that our order
    has been “canceled” by Best Buy. After getting this email we immediately contacted customer service, they informed us that there is nothing they can do since the items are no longer available, so we contacted the manufacturer of the product and was informed that the items are still being made and being sold worldwide. We checked again with Best Buy and they could not answer why if they still were dealing with the manufacturer, why they could not make the item available. We had to spend a gift less Christmas and a gift less birthday thanks to Best Buy.

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