retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Slate.com has a strongly worded piece about Best Buy, which seems to be getting some good press lately suggesting that new CEO Hubert July has turned the place around.

The story notes that while it is true that Best Buy's costs have been trimmed and its stock price has tripled, these may be short-term, even illusory indicators. "Cutting costs alone isn’t a strategy for a company to thrive," writes Matthew Yglesias. "Has Joly actually made the store any good? Is it a place you could recommend that people go to shop? Are the buys the best?" Yglesias writes that he did some shopping and comparing, and concludes that Best Buy "doesn’t have the best prices, it doesn’t have the best selection, and it doesn’t succeed on the level of customer service."

It is, to be clear, a scathing critique ... but worth reading here, I think, because it poses interesting and provocative questions about the role of the store ... from the customer point of view.
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