More advice for Best Buy

Plenty of commentary about Best Buy this year — most recently about its new CEO’s observation that customers walking in the door are “theirs to lose.” (He continues with the importance of competitive pricing.) Here’s my take:

It’s important to remember the name of the company (“Best Buy”) as a reflection of its mission, no matter whether it sells TV’s, computers or appliances. So Mr. Joly is absolutely right that any customer walking in the door needs to be encouraged to walk out with a purchase or an online order. Getting those customers into your store is half the battle, whether they are checking prices on their smartphones or not.

But price-matching (and more aggressive pricing in the first place) is only part of the battle. Best Buy needs to focus more quickly on the entire customer experience, which is disappointing today by the standards set by Apple. It needs to de-clutter the center core of the store, it should make the “Geek Squad” key to its mission, and it must focus on selling product — not service contracts, no matter how much they help drive the bottom line.

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