A little over a year ago, Best Buy announced they would be shrinking their store footprints and moving to smaller, Best Buy Mobile locations in order to keep costs down. Well, it appears that cutting the size of the stores has not been enough and now the workforce cuts will commence. Best Buy will be eliminating 2,400 jobs, which comes out to 1.4 percent of Best Buy's positions. It is also being reported that the reduction will happen immediately.
Inside the 2,400 people who won't be working for the blue box anymore are 600 Geek Squad employees and 1,800 other jobs in the stores, all to be cut by August 1st, which gives those who will be termed about two weeks warning before they no longer have a job with a blue polo or black tie. Best Buy will be offering severance and employment assistance to those who will be fired. This all comes as no surprise to people in the retail space, as Best Buy has been trying to fend off Amazon and Wal-Mart as their top competitors, after successfully putting Circuit City to shame no more than three years ago. Best Buy posted a $1.7 billion Q4 loss earlier this year and announced it was closing 50 stores right off the bat but we knew the job cuts were only the next step of the plan.
For more on the job cuts, follow the break.
Also in the cost-cutting announcement was Best Buy's plan to rethink their Geek Squad and will now be placing employees in booths in the store to (attempt to) fix common issues, sort of like how the Genius Bar operates, both in style and incompetency, I would assume. The source who has reported all of this also mentioned that the Geek Squad crew that will end up being out of work are those who were part of the in-home staff.
With their stock decreasing each month and more and more people trying out the gadget in the store before going online to buy it cheaper, time is the only factor that will probably play into the demise for Best Buy. If you've been following the show for a while, we've talked about how the big box retailers won't be around much longer if they don't start changing, and that was over four years ago. It seems like too little, too late for Best Buy now and the reduction will only prolong the inevitable.
A forum poster shares my same sentiment and wrote,
Best Buy is slowly going the way of Circuit City. The company thought because it's the only tech store in town that it can breeze by. However, online purchasing and mismanagement has hurt Best Buy more than anything. It won't be long before the company starts rapidly downsizing.
Another commenter wrote,
...getting into the CD/DVD market-THATS what hurt Best Buy, and others before them, like Circuit City, the Wiz, and Borders-when these companies who didnt specialize in software put their hands in another pile, it disrupted their flow and messed up the whiole company. BB will be gone by next year, mark my words!
Do you feel the same? Tell us in the comments section below. While part of me recognizes that we will have less places to go to actually see our tech gadgets before purchasing them (and subsequently returning a product may sometimes prove to be difficult), I can totally understand why companies like Best Buy are following the ones like Circuit City. If you put employees in front of these products who have no knowledge of almost anything, your sales are going to diminish as it is. As far as I'm concerned, this only forces the potential shopper to put more trust into online review and news sites, like this one!