Best Buy axes UK superstores

Best Buy will close its 11 UK big box stores launched since April 2010 citing the challenging economic situation.

Best Buy Europe, the local subsidiary of the powerhouse US electronics retailer, says it will refocus its operation by concentrating more on its 2500 small box stores branded as The Phone House and The Carphone Warehouse. The stores will close by the end of this year.

“Since 2008, the consumer electronics marketplace has changed substantially as a result of the economic times, the progress of online retailing and the growth of new products such as smartphones, tablets and apps,” Best Buy declared in a statement.

“Best Buy Europe believes that its connectivity strategy should be prioritised within Carphone Warehouse because it offers a superior rate of return on capital investment and is best placed to meet the future needs of customers.” 

“Each of these actions represents an exciting growth opportunity for Best Buy and near and long-term value for our shareholders. We are aggressively ramping up our growing connections capability to support consumers’ increasingly connected lives across the entire range of devices entering the marketplace,” said Brian Dunn, CEO of Best Buy.

Best Buy Europe will leverage the strength of approximately 2500 small box mobility stores and upgrade many to the ‘Wireless World’ store by taking its format to the next level of store experience and service and incorporating an even wider range of connectivity devices.

Best buy and Carphone Warehouse group (CPW) will create a new global mobile and connectivity venture called ‘Global Connect’. The new venture plans to partner with third parties to improve the performance of their connected products and services business, providing them with immediate global scale in vendor relationships, value proposition expertise and intellectual capital.

Best Buy and CPW expect these partnerships to require little or no capital investments, instead providing world-leading consulting expertise and connectivity talent in return for a share in profits.

“Since becoming CEO in 2009, we have been advancing our Connected World strategy. Today we are taking significant actions to dramatically accelerate our progress. We’ve enhanced our capabilities in connections, added a growth option in ‘Global Connect,’ and made a strategic acquisition that brings an important capability to our services business.

“I wholeheartedly believe these actions will create significant value for shareholders,” said Dunn.


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