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New Blood at Best Buy May Be Best Shot at Reinventing It
10 Apr 2012 EDT - CNBC.com
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In many ways, Best Buy’s troubles have been coming for a long time, and the source of its problems pre-date Brian Dunn’s tenure. Many analysts say Dunn is a likeable and capable manager, but he may not have had the right skills to radically rethink the Best Buy’s business.

Best Buy’s fleet of large, big-box stores are built for yesterday’s retail wars, said Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners.

“It is very difficult to repurpose them,” Johnson said. He explained these stores have decades-long leases, and it is not easy to convert them into other uses. The large stores, with their vast square footage, were great for showcasing big screen televisions when that was all the rage, but gadgets are smaller now and may be more suited for Best Buy’s smaller mobile kiosks.

“As Jack Welch once said, if you are going to be in a business that is being cannibalized, it is better to cannibalize yourself first,” Johnson said.

But finding the right person to take the helm will be a challenge. It’s a pivotal time in retail. Best Buy isn’t alone in trying to figure it out. Eddie Lampert , founder of ESL Partners, which controls about 60 percent of Sears Holdings recently told CNBC, retailers need to adapt or die. Lampert has been struggling revive Sears.

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