“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

Box Wars Episode V: Best Buy Strikes Back?

by April 07, 2007
Best Buy City?

Best Buy City?

In what can be perceived as nothing less than a carnivorous AP media pummeling the likes of which remind me of a group of hyenas devouring a day-old carcass, Best Buy has been the beneficiary of a media blitz through an AP roll-out in local and national papers. The piece will result in Best Buy easily profiting off the latest PR snafu caused by Circuit City's recent decision to sack/replace/rehire 8% of its sales workforce. Check out some recent headlines to cross the Audioholics newsroom:

  • "Old-timer Circuit City struggles as Best Buy's customer focus pays off" (Provo Daily Herald)
  • "Best Buy scores with Consumers" (thenewstribune.com)
  • "Best Buy service trumps Circuit City" (Associated Press via Yahoo! News)
  • there are tens more... and that's just what crossed our desk.

Of course all of these headlines are local and regional editors' attempts to sensationalize what is essentially a couple people's individual opinions of the stores - captured by some AP writer at (wait for it) the exit of local Best Buy as they walked out with a purchase. Similar or identical responses could likely have been received by asking the question "Did you just make a mistake by shopping at Best Buy today?"

Why not ask a person who just bought a Volvo why its better than a Chrysler? Given the recent financial issues the automaker is having, would that not make for an impressive story as well?

What the piece quickly proved, more than anything substantial about either store, was that anyone in the Associated Press can seemingly take advantage of the real story (the firings and pay cuts by Circuit City) and turn it into a continuing yellow journalism piece that makes additional headlines. Instead of finding more in-depth news, readers are presented with fairy tales and poorly-researched information. "Old-timer Circuit City struggles as Best Buy's customer focus pays off?" Right.

We certainly don't think that it was a smart move on the part of Circuit City to ditch 8% of its higher-paid workforce for entry-level replacements, however the evaluations are going to have to come later this year and through the holiday season- not a week later by some headline-grabbing AP reporter.

In the past it has been made very clear to us that corporations have various news agencies and magazines on "standby" for opportune articles and editorials. Without making any accusations, I'd have to say that this doesn't exactly pass the "smell test" and we would have to wonder if someone at Best Buy prompted the article. Perhaps, and perhaps not.

In either case, we just hope our readers are savvy enough to tell news from sensationalism and always remember to do your own investigations before making any major decisions - like writing off an entire store over another. The likely result is bound to be eventual corporate takeover and less options for the consumer - and that's not in anyone's best interests.

 

About the author:
author portrait

Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

View full profile

Confused about what AV Gear to buy or how to set it up? Join our Exclusive Audioholics E-Book Membership Program!

Recent Forum Posts:

skizzerflake posts on April 15, 2007 00:56
Highbar, post: 262583
At least now I can walk into a BB and not get hounded by someone every 30 seconds. I used to walk in and couldn't look at two things before they were all over me. Now they just sit there and watch, or as skizzerflake said just make stuff up to make the sale. People at CC on the other hand usually know a little more about what they are trying to sell you and don't tell you one thing when the tag right in front of you said differently. I always go to CC first but have started to buy more big ticket items on line since the lower price usually negates the price for shipping.

T

The problem I have had at CC (at least the one in Lutherville MD) is that they just don't have much in the store. I don't like big box stores very much but I do expect to see lots of stuff. Aside from lots of TVs most of the merchandise is pretty thin. I never really get to the sales staff because there just isn't enough in there to start my salivary glands running. The BB around the corner has inept help but lots of stuff. I'm OK there as long as I don't talk to anybody. Maybe a merger would help.
Buckeye_Nut posts on April 14, 2007 12:38
admin, post: 261491
In what can be perceived as nothing less than a carnivorous AP media pummeling the likes of which remind me of a group of hyenas devouring a day-old carcass, Best Buy has been the beneficiary of a media blitz through an AP roll-out in local and national papers. The piece will result in Best Buy easily profiting off the latest PR snafu caused by Circuit City's recent decision to sack/replace/rehire 8% of its sales workforce.


Discuss “Box Wars Episode V: Best Buy Strikes Back?” here. Read the article.
The only way either of these chains hire any ‘real’ salespeople, is if they pay their sales teams based on commission. Otherwise, they'll endlessly be stuck with a sales force incapable of selling a bottle of water to a person dieing of thirst. That is also the same reason their sales people know very little about the products they try to sell. The only informed sales staff is a commissioned staff.
mpompey posts on April 14, 2007 07:47
If CC really wanted to stay in the game, they need to focus on customer service. I can't tell you how many times I've heard people complain about the service in Best Buy. Pay the people a little bit more, train them, and improve their product distribution chains, their online options, and they'd have the competition beat.

But that is too much like right for anyone to take it seriously.
Highbar posts on April 12, 2007 16:01
At least now I can walk into a BB and not get hounded by someone every 30 seconds. I used to walk in and couldn't look at two things before they were all over me. Now they just sit there and watch, or as skizzerflake said just make stuff up to make the sale. People at CC on the other hand usually know a little more about what they are trying to sell you and don't tell you one thing when the tag right in front of you said differently. I always go to CC first but have started to buy more big ticket items on line since the lower price usually negates the price for shipping.

T
mpompey posts on April 12, 2007 02:01
I think Davidtwotrees hit the nail on the head. Big box stores aren't really interested in an informed consumer. They are interested in maintaining as low of an overhead as possible, while trying to maximize profit. You see the same thing in men's clothing/ fashion departments. When is the last time you seen an on the ball person in the suit department? There are becoming fewer and fewer. As more and more of the staff are not making commissions on the sales you see less and less experienced sales staff remaining. Those that do have experience and an understanding of men's fashion are going to be snatched away by higher end stores. But in the end it is a zero sum game as people are not as fashion minded as they were in the past.
Post Reply