Best Buy (BBY) founder Richard Schulze plans to take the massive nationwide retailer private once again, and he is reportedly recruiting a team of executives to help revitalize the company if his effort is successful. An earlier report from June revealed Schulze’s intentions, suggesting that the former board chairman was planning a buyout to turn the struggling retailer’s business around and prevent his stake in the company, which currently sits at 20%, from losing more value. Now, Bloomberg adds on to the report, citing a senior Best Buy executive in stating that Schulze is building a new executive team that will be put in place if his buyout succeeds. “He is talking to people he trusts,” J.D. Wilson, SVP of enterprise capabilities, told Bloomberg. “There is a small group he’d like to have with him in righting the ship. He is serious as a heart attack.” More →
Best Buy plans to lay off approximately 2,400 employees according to a recent report. Dow Jones Newswires on Friday reported that Best Buy will soon dismiss as many as 2,400 workers including 600 Geek Squad representatives. Best Buy acquired Geek Squad, its PC repair arm, in 2002. “We are working to minimize the impact of the changes on employees while building the foundation for a strong future,” a Best Buy spokesperson told Dow Jones Newswires. Best Buy had 167,000 full-time employees at last count, including about 20,000 Geek Squad reps. The company announced during its fourth-quarter earnings call that it planned to close 50 U.S. stores as part of a cost-cutting effort. More →
Best Buy has decided to give its customers a little bit of relief if they decide to buy a new MacBook Pro with Retina display, though it will still cost them more than $2,000. As noted by 9to5Mac, Best Buy is knocking $110 off the new MacBook Pro’s sale price, bringing it down to $2,089.99. 9to5Mac also notes that Best Buy has discounted the new MacBook Air by $50, knocking its price down to $949.99. But as PC World writes, these deals extend to in-store purchases only, so anyone looking to take advantage of this discount should get to their local Best Buy ASAP to make sure their they don’t miss out. More →
After ousting its CEO and closing a slew of stores, it’s safe to say that Best Buy has had a difficult year. As the company’s stock continues to tumble, its founder Richard Schulze is planning to try and take the company private, according to The Wall Street Journal. Schulze is the retailer’s largest shareholder with roughly a 20% stake in the company, and he resigned from his post as chairman of the board earlier this month. The founder fears his holdings will continue to decline unless major changes are made at the company, although the Journal’s sources claim he doesn’t want to run the troubled retailer again. A potential buyout will be rather pricey, however. Best Buy’s value currently sits at roughly $8 billion, so a buyout offer would likely have to come in as high as $11 billion to gain the interest of other shareholders, the Journal noted. More →
$99 Xbox 360 consoles just got a little bit easier to find. Xbox Live programming director Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb said on Tuesday that Microsoft is expanding its pilot program that lets customers pay just $99 for a 4GB Xbox 360 as long as they sign a two-year service agreement to pay $14.99 a month for an Xbox Gold subscription. While the $99 Xbox deal was initially only available in certain Microsoft retail stores, Hryb said it will soon be available in select Best Buy and Game Stop locations as well. Hryb made sure to emphasize that the $99 Xbox deal is still a pilot program and that gamers shouldn’t come to expect $99 consoles to become the new norm just yet. “This next phase of the pilot program will be limited in terms of both timing and the number of units available—we’re excited to forge new ground and explore a new retail model for Xbox 360, but also want to emphasize that this is a pilot period for the program,” he said. “Call your local Best Buy, GameStop or Microsoft Store if you’d like more information about how and where to purchase.” More →
Best Buy on Tuesday reported results for the first quarter of 2012. The electronics retail giant posted better-than-expected earnings per share, despite declining store sales. Revenue came in at $11.6 billion, ahead of analysts’ consensus of $11.52 billion, and non-GAAP earnings came in at $0.72 per share, up 11% from the same quarter in 2011 and beating the Street’s estimates of $0.59 per share. Domestic online revenue rose by 20%, and domestic mobile-phone sales increased by 13%. “Best Buy is in a turnaround, and the strategic priorities we laid out at the beginning of the year are just the first phase of the changes to come,” said Mike Mikan, CEO (interim) of Best Buy. “We know we have to better adapt to the new realities of the marketplace, and we are creating a long-term plan designed to make Best Buy more relevant with customers and position the company for sustained, profitable returns in the years ahead. First quarter results were in-line with our expectations, and we are reaffirming our previously provided annual guidance for fiscal 2013.” Best Buy’s press release follows below.
Almost two months after Apple unveiled its latest tablet, the new iPad continues to see shipping delays when ordered online. Availability of the device in the U.S. continues to improve, however, with the shipping quotes now whittled down to under a week for the first time since the slate launched in March. Orders through Apple’s online store are now expected to ship in 3 to 5 business days, although international customers will still be forced to wait between 1 and 2 weeks. If the wait is still too long, Best Buy and other retail outlets are said to have plenty of stock. The Cupertino-based company previously said demand for the new tablet was “off the charts.” In the first quarter of 2012, Apple sold 11.8 million tablets. More →
Following Best Buy’s announcement that it would shutter 50 retail locations as part of an effort to cut costs, one market research firm said it believes the decline of big-box consumer electronics retailers in the United States and Europe will continue. Canalys said in a report on Tuesday that it expects more big-name retailers to follow in the footsteps of companies like Best Buy Europe, CompUSA and Circuit City, which filed for bankruptcy in 2008 before closing all of its retail stores and selling its online brand. Big-box retailers’ failure to adapt as aggressive online companies such as Amazon grew rapidly is seen as the root cause of their woes. “They were hit by a perfect storm of competition from the Internet and supermarkets,” Canalys CEO Steve Brazier said in a statement. “They lost too much business to competitors undercutting them on price and failed to respond to the many attractions of Amazon’s online approach, such as its vast stock ranges, peer reviews, recommendations, free delivery and excellent returns services.” Brazier continued, “Today’s consumers are even willing to browse for a book in a local store then order it from Amazon at a higher price simply because they want Amazon to understand their entire library, to optimize future recommendations. This is more than ‘showrooming’ – this signals a fundamental shift in consumer perception of value.” Canalys’s full press release follows below. More →
Best Buy on Tuesday announced that its director and chief executive officer Brian Dunn has resigned from the company effective immediately. Director G. Mike Mikan has been named interim CEO as the company searches for a new chief executive. “I have enjoyed every one of my 28 years with this company, and I leave it today in position for a strong future. I am proud of my fellow employees and I wish them the best,” Dunn said in a statement. Best Buy recently announced plans to shutter 50 retail stores as part of an effort to cut costs, and the company missed Wall Street’s revenue consensus when it reported its fourth-quarter earnings last month. Best Buy’s stock is trading up 2.75% on the news. The company’s full press release follows below.
UPDATE: StarTribune reports that an investigation into personal misconduct led to Dunn’s resignation. More →
Best Buy on Thursday reported results for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2012. The nationwide retail giant had missed Wall Street’s estimates in both the second and third fiscal quarters, and it posted mixed results in the fourth quarter. Revenue came in at $16.6 billion compared to analysts’ consensus of $17.15 billion, and non-GAAP earnings of $2.47 per share, up 25% from the same quarter in fiscal 2011, beating the Street’s $2.15 EPS consensus. “In order to help make technology work for every one of our customers and transform our business as the consumer electronics industry continues to evolve, we are taking major actions to improve our operating performance,” said Best Buy CEO Brian J. Dunn. “As part of our multi-channel strategy, we intend to strengthen our portfolio of store formats and footprints — closing some big box stores, modifying others to our enhanced Connected Store format, and adding Best Buy Mobile stand-alone locations — all to provide a better shopping environment for our customers across multiple channels while increasing points of presence, and to improve performance and profitability.” After jumping more than 3% in pre-market trading, shares of Best Buy stock were down 7% shortly after the market opened on Thursday. The company’s full press release follows below. More →
iPad launch day is quite a fiasco. Apple Stores around the country see eager customers line up hours or even days ahead of the tablet’s release, and people often wait hours before they finally make it into the store to purchase an iPad — if there are any left. While there was still plenty of hype surrounding this year’s launch, it didn’t quite seem the same. Apple’s new iPad is a big upgrade compared to the previous model, featuring a faster dual-core A5X processor with quad-core graphics, an upgraded 5-megapixel camera, optional embedded 4G LTE, a slightly redesigned case and a gorgeous better-than-1080p HD Retina Display. But launch day still seemed much more subdued than it was for the release of the original iPad and the iPad 2. Read on for more. More →
At launch, AT&T and Verizon will be the exclusive carriers of the new 4G-enabled iPad in the United States. In the spring, however, Sprint will also be launching its own 4G LTE network. With the carrier already selling Apple’s flagship smartphone, users were shocked to see the Cupertino-based company shun its new partner’s network — but this may not be the case. According to images obtained by Engadget, Sprint iPad models have begun to show up in Best Buy’s inventory system. Nothing is confirmed at this point, but it is possible that a Sprint iPad could launch around the same time as the carrier’s first batch of 4G LTE smartphones. A second image of Best Buy’s system can be seen after the break. More →
Apple is all but confirmed to be planning a press conference for March 7th during which it will unveil its next-generation iPad tablet. The iPad 3 is expected to feature a high-definition 2,048 x 1,536-pixel Retina Display along with a faster quad-core Apple A6 processor, embedded 4G LTE, an upgraded rear camera and a redesigned case. There is no question that the new iPad will be a significant upgrade compared to the current model, but not everyone needs the latest and greatest. For those willing to forgo the added speed, embedded LTE and HD display, Best Buy is now offering $50 off every iPad 2 model it carries. Of course buying the iPad 2 now at a $50 discount is a risky move — a number of reports have suggested that Apple will continue to sell its current tablet at a discount of $100 or more once the next-generation iPad 3 launches next month. More →