Sunday, March 6, 2011

Is Best Buy following the footsteps of Blockbuster soon?

Is the big electronic retailer Best Buy (BBY) soon to follow the same fate as Blockbuster video? (PINK:BLOAQ), or Circuit City for that matter. It seems to me they have too many 'lookers' and not enough 'buyers'. Take myself for example; yesterday I was in a Bestbuy and I was looking at an electronic gadget that I wanted to get but I knew I could possibly get cheaper on Amazon (AMZN). The issue with Amazon is, that you can't touch the gadget and examine it, at Best Buy you can! Eventually I did a price check and I found it for a lot cheaper on Amazon actually. It surprised me that I saw too many 'shoppers' walking out of Best Buy empty handed, probably doing the same thing as me. People are using Best Buy as a big window shopping warehouse where they can touch, ask questions (although their 'experts' are left to be desired).
I did some research on the internet because I was curious to see how Best Buy was doing as a company with this phenomenon plaguing their stores and it turns out indeed the above observation is true. Friday the Wall Street Journal wrote a similar article.
People 'shop' Best Buy with the intention to buy it somewhere else, ironically doing price scans with their iPhones that Best Buy sells, to find it cheaper elsewhere.
With the (electronic) retail landscape rapidly changing in todays time, more and more big stores go out of business, Borders, Hollywood Video, Circuit City and Blockbuster just to name a few. All because shopping is shifting to internet (think mobile online shopping, plays a huge part in this new landscape).
And it makes sense. If you have the ability to check with a few touches of your finger to do price check on a certain item you just scanned or looked up, and save tens, if not hundreds of dollars, wouldn't you?
So is Best Buy doomed? In my opinion, not yet, at least not anytime soon. They will probably experiment with adapting to smaller stores business models first before they go under like Circuit City. Even in that case this process will take a few years, however at the moment it is not helping their stock price. The crash that occurred in last December is proof Best Buy's outlook for investors is wobbly.

I'm very bearish on this stock. The only thing that is holding this stock price to where it is now is its market cap. Their business model is outdated, they treat their employees like crap (know this from first hand experience) and they are simply too big. Time is ticking to see BBY soon to be trading under $30, and that may just be the beginning of a slippery slope down.
What's your opinion on Best Buy? Do you see Best Buy surviving in the near- mid term? Post a reply.

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