Category: Downfall of Companies

Another downer on Best Buy, the Father’s Day dilemma.

I read this article about how this lady was out with her son on Father’s Day and noticed that all of the women were shopping every where but Best Buy, and why?

Read her article for more details. In the short of it all, once again, Best Buy makes worst for their customers and are not helpful to them at all.

According to the article, lack of context / connection / simplicity are basically the main factors that women don’t want to shop there, even for their husbands or fathers or that guy in their life.

Best Buy and their employees are good about announcing and stating the facts that people can read (specs) but they are not good about connecting with the customers to break down how pretty something looks or how smoothly something runs.

For a camera, instead of reading the specs that the customer already read to themselves, how about telling how nice the camera shoots photos up close or what special filter the lenses have. For computers, share what programs look wonderful on the screen – if it’s photo specific or a computer for writers or gamers. Those things…those things that help SELL the item.

As Dan and I were having a discussion at lunch over this, specs don’t matter any more, they want details…and that’s a huge reason why Apple wins over their customers because they have it.

Most Best Buy employees are like retail employees, most aren’t in it for the career and most are only in it for the money. So, they point to or make a point to mention what the customer already knows (ie: what they can read), instead of taking the extra step to find out specific things about the item to make a sale.

Two suggestions mentioned in the article, I don’t really agree with.

This may be sexist, but, I do not think that Best Buy needs to cater to just women or just men. It’s a man’s thing – that new ole technology – tvs, gaming, computers, etc. Yes, I am a woman and I like technology to a certain point that I want something cute that works, or something that works and is cute, y’know?

Sure, you want to add feminine to the menu at Best Buy? When the lady wants to buy a computer, add a pink USB drive and pink computer cover. Or, a pink phone case for her phone. Or, whatever color they want. But I think they already have a small selection – so it’s pretty moot talking about it.

But I do agree that they need to really clean it up with all of the return policies and prices and everything else wrong with Best Buy.

“Protecting themselves from customers” – it’s a dead giveaway that due to high loss prevention numbers, we allllll know that people steal and it’s a bad, bad, bad idea NOT to protect your company models/items. Why wouldn’t you want to try to save your stuff from being stolen?

This is anywhere, pretty much, that the employees DO focus too much on trying to catch people who are stealing (or who aren’t but everyone is apparent suspect) and not truly caring enough to help someone. I get annoyed so much every time walk around every single corner and get an employee asking ,’you finding everything okay??????’ It’s like, ‘yes, five of you have been here asking that same thing. Please let me shop. Help me when I actually need to be helped.’

But it all goes back to how Best Buy is failing and things won’t be fixed.

Do you think that RadioShack could make a come back?

I was checking my normal program for reading the every day updated business/marketing/economy news and came across this blog post.

It’s basically saying that if Radio Shack turns its head away from what they’ve become to go back to the roots of their beginning – like selling parts and nothing but parts – then they could turn this whole game around.

I can’t remember the last time I went into a Radio Shack. But, I can tell you the last time I saw one and went back to that same place weeks later only to see they’ve closed up shop.

Radio Shack lost its vibe when it started selling computers and phones and other electronics that Best Buy and Comp USA and several other big box electronic retailers sold. Price was another thing. If I remember correctly, Radio Shack’s prices weren’t right with what it should’ve been or less than what it should’ve been.

The article says that Radio Shack really needs to focus on their main customers which are the hobbyists who need parts.

I don’t really think of parts when I hear Radio Shack, I just see a retailer that’s waaaay past its prime. Unfortunately.

There’s already a ‘good enough’ parts retailer and it’s online; Tiger Direct, New Egg, Amazon… and so on. You can also find cheap things on eBay. The only thing I can think of are the people who don’t believe in ordering stuff online and there’s local places around to find parts.

I don’t know. It’s just like anything else. Looking for the best price for clothes? Go somewhere cheap like the thrift store or store when they’re having sales. Best price for jewelry? Same. Best price for electronics? Look online, look at big box retailers or smaller businesses. Best price for parts or hard to finds? Thrift stores, eBay. Y’know.

It’s just too hard to turn an older ex-well-known company back around to be something in a really, really bad economy that’s trying to recover.

There’s too many places to buy things from, there’s too many places that are the same and not unique at all. It’s devastating to those who built the company but it’s just a factor in retail life.

What do you think?

JCPenney and their ‘no more sales’ tactic.

Think back to the ages of catalogs in the mail. Which ones did you get? Perhaps out of the few that you received, you got JCPenney, right? Not only that but you also received coupons or at least some sort of newspaper insert to introduce the next sale that was going on — and that, is still going on nowadays.

Now, I’m usually up on all of this kind of thing but had no idea what this retailer was trying to do (only because I live in a box now that I’m really busy).

JCPenney tried taking away all sales by doing ‘best price’ for a month.

Now, could you imagine? Could you imagine if you were the big box retailer who always sent coupons and ads in the paper/mail to advertise sales – and then – it suddenly stopped? Wouldn’t you think the store had packed up and left?

What were they thinking? For a company who relies on that kind of business through mail inserts advertising sales, that was such a stupid move.

Not to mention, the new CEO is from Apple, which holds a much different standard. There are straight up prices, no sales, and only sales when something is needing to be pushed out the door before the new Apple product arrives.

Instead of looking at the big picture, the new CEO decided to step in without really thinking. People rely on sales being advertised so that they can go to the store and get items on sale. With no advertisement, who would be dropping by? Perhaps the few people in the mall who swoops in and back out? As you read in the article linked above, traffic in the store dropped.

I would put JCPenney in the same category as Sears. They have been around probably about the same time, both put out catalogs, both carry some sense of the same brand and so on. Not only on the store front would I compare JCPenney to Sears but I would do some comparing about how they are so close to failing.

What’s so unique about JCPenney and Sears? Not too long ago, I did a write up about how Sears is going down the drain.

Price write up has been something that is being talked about a lot these days. For me, buying clothes is like a dodgeball game, I try to dodge every single high price and don’t buy anything unless it’s ridiculously on sale. For people who work in retail, you know what’s going on – do you want to fall into that hole?

Bottom line: JCPenney is a bit outdated for these days. Now we have all kinds of speciality stores, cheaper places to shop, thrift stores, and better big box stores.

I’m just waiting for JCPenney to close, just like Sears.

What’s your opinion on the new way that JCPenney tried to do things?

Sears and Best Buy: The Beginning Downfall of their Corporations

As I was looking through the LinkedIn articles I had on my iPhone app, I saw THIS article and became interested enough in writing about it.

Basically what the article is saying that Sears is becoming more like Best Buy – a retailer whose been around for a while – and now is in trouble (or, should say, has been for a while) in this shaky economy.

Back a few years ago, in my retailing career, I used to work inside Sears’ Lands End. Let’s just say straight out – I hated Sears. Our Sears was always portrayed the same way – hot, very hot, and slightly uninviting. It was where the “older” crowd went. Sears was the place where the crowd walked through to get to the other side of the mall but never to really stop around and look. It wasn’t hip enough for 2/3rds of the mall goers.

Remember Montgomery Wards? This will be Sears in a couple of years. In my opinion, Sears isn’t making it as a large box store any more. They lack fashion and focus and they just can’t keep up with today’s market.

Now, I must say I haven’t been in a Sears in a while and haven’t even looked online to see what they have to offer — but I am saying this from experienced. As suggested in the article linked above, they should find focus in on their tool and housewares departments. Often when I think about Sears, I think about appliances, so?

Best Buy. Oh boy, Best Buy. Okay, so I admit we go to Best Buy to look around and possibly get something if it’s… NOT *any where else* if we need it like asap or if we come across a great, quick deal.

Best Buy is a repetitive box store that will soon be obsolete. Their prices are way too high and the online retailers are often the competitors (regardless of what people think about this). Do you have a list of electronics to get or dvds or accessories? Well, look online first at Amazon or NewEgg – boom! You’ve found a much better deal about half off or more. Need a computer fixed? Yep. Don’t go to Best Buy’s rip-off Geek Squad, go to someone local for a lower cost or for free. Seriously. If you’ve been going to get your computer fixed (or simply looked at) by Best Buy, you’re soooo getting ripped off.

Prices within retail need to reflect the economy. You’re in competition with a whole lot more companies when people have to scrape by and decide on where to spend. What will YOU do Best Buy or Sears to get customers to walk in and spend their money in YOUR store?

Fix your outdatedness. Change. Make more changes. Turn your companies around because soon.. you probably won’t be around to do much more.

The Downfall of MySpace and Blackberry

MySpace, a social networking product, and BlackBerry, a mobile product, are both set to lay off employees – and strangely, the announcement came about the same time. When you think about MySpace and BlackBerry do you think back about 5-10 years ago, set in the past, ancient world history in the speak of networking? Ditto.

So, what went wrong for these companies to have such a downfall the last couple of years?

Let’s take a look at MySpace. When I think about MySpace, I think 2005. That is when I got it. Early 2009 is when I deleted it. Solid MySpace college users migrated to Facebook when Facebook came out as [college users] only. So, with it being selective in users, it had some time to allow the migration to begin. First the college users went, then all that was left was musicians, companies, pre-teens and 20+ that just either didn’t want to delete their account or refused to buy into Facebook.

Let’s talk about BlackBerry. I had a BlackBerry Pearl for two years… and I’m so very glad I switched to an iPhone. For avid users, such as myself, I couldn’t handle the overall slowness of the phone. The web browser took forever and a day to load. My Twitter client would mess up and freeze every time I used it. Even then, I wanted to use Twitter for BlackBerry but every time I did, the phone would need to be turned off and restarted. So, by that time, all of the programs that I needed to use and didn’t work… the phone became amazingly useless.

MySpace never really changed much over the years. At one point they discovered the music side of things, lost their focus on users and that’s about the turning point of going downhill, along with the Facebook changes of users. When Facebook went public and anyone could join, they did and they brought everything they had at MySpace along with them. Why use MySpace when there was a new “man” in town?

BlackBerry stayed the same and never changed, even though they claim they did by adding a few minor updates here and there. iPhone was boosting with sales overtaking the BlackBerry users one by one. No matter how fast or competent they made their phones, someone else always did it better. They got lost, losing their main focus: on what mobile customers want TODAY.

A while ago, MySpace changed their logo. Why does a company change a logo? In hopes to change their company and turn it around from the exiting door. Why did things NOT change? Facebook has MySpace by the throat. Unless you have a blog or website, it seems like no one wants a customized page anymore. People read text, people use the LIKE button on Facebook until one is blue in the face from pushing it so much. People go mobile. If you are reading mobile version or app version, most things, they don’t allow you to see the colored background and shiny pretty things on the front page.

BlackBerry still has a limited user ability, including only a couple thousand apps in the app store. I wouldn’t know how well any of the apps work now, considering, I’ve been out of the BlackBerry playing game for a year. I have heard people say BlackBerry is for work, iPhone is for play. I have also seen where companies started getting iPhones for their employees instead of the expected BlackBerry just because the iPhone has been updated with the times.

Soon enough, it’s all going to come down to MySpace shutting down and Facebook will be running against Twitter. Two different levels of communication, but still head to head at the game. I have seen it said: Facebook is the place to connect with family and old friends, Twitter is the place for the now and the ‘I wish I had gone to school with them’. Twitter is continuous conversations and status updates in 140 characters, Facebook is status updates, LIKE pages, and connections with bands and so on.

If BlackBerry doesn’t find a way out of deep waters, iPhone and Google will continue to be the top two phones out there beating it out. iPhone has a safe security on their phone, 350,000+ of apps and a new cloud over-the-air updating system coming up shortly in an update this fall. Google has very limited apps, is an open phone so it will be open for viruses. The people at Apple will ALWAYS be ahead of the game, will always find some way to conveniently fix whatever they messed up (antennagate, for example) and their products will be of good use for many, many years. Google will continue to make phone after phone and update after update and will end up with water up to their necks in their lack choices of focusing on one design or a select few designs.

So, in conclusion, what do the users/customers want out the products that they can no longer get from MySpace or BlackBerry?

Social networking users want to always be connected, they want information right now whether it be news updates from family or news updates across the world. Mobile customers always want to be connected right now – as in speed. As similar as they are different, all four companies (Facebook vs. Twitter, iPhone vs. Google) have what people want right now.

The next question is, will there be a bigger guy to over take those in the next few years? Or, will they stay on top?