Best Buy: The turnaround is still a work in progress

Today’s panel discussion at RetailWire centers on Best Buy. The question is whether the company’s turnaround (as engineered by its CEO Hubert Joly) can be declared an outright success. I think there is still plenty of work to be done:

It was premature to declare Best Buy DOA a couple of years ago, but it’s equally premature to declare the turnaround a success. Mr. Joly has done several smart things during his tenure that I have noted before on RetailWire (reallocating space away from CD’s, DVD’s and software…adding branded shops…putting more focus on service and omnichannel initiatives).

However, the holiday 2013 and Q1 2014 results still reflect declines in the company’s comp-store sales and gross margin. Good expense management seems to be driving earnings higher, which is a positive step toward sustainability. But Best Buy has a long way to go to recapture its consumer magic. Let’s hold off on the “transformation” talk until this happens.

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