I went to Best Buy on Pico Blvd last Wednesday and the customer service, when I was able to flag a reluctant employee, was shoddy at best. The employees rarely seem educated or enthusiastic, much like the folks I remember from other failed department stores such as Circuit City.
So if Best Buy goes down, where will I be able to pick up a hard drive and a video card like I needed last week? Staples was not up to the task. I tried them first.
Electronics retailer Best Buy is headed for the exits. I can’t say when exactly, but my guess is that it’s only a matter of time, maybe a few more years.
Consider a few key metrics. Despite the disappearance of competitors including Circuit City, the company is losing market share. Its last earnings announcement disappointed investors. In 2011, the company’s stock has lost 40% of its value. Forward P/E is a mere 6.23 (industry average is 10.20). Its market cap down to less than $9 billion. Its average analyst rating, according to The Street.com, is a B-.
Those are just some of the numbers, and they don’t look good. They bear out a prediction in March from the Wall Street Journal’s Heard on the Street column, which forecast “the worst is yet to come” for Best Buy investors. With the flop of 3D televisions and the expansion of Apple’s own retail locations, there was no killer product on the horizon that would lift it from the doldrums. Though the company accounts for almost a third of all U.S. consumer electronics purchases, analysts noted, the company remains a ripe target for more nimble competitors.