For any company contemplating a major course correction, the tale of Best Buy is instructive. It illustrates both the size of the opportunities and the range of difficulties an organization can encounter in accomplishing transformative change. And the story is still being written. In the current economic downturn, with discretionary purchases like electronics plunging, Best Buy’s transformation is being put to the test with encouraging results. Here’s what you can learn.
For years, Best Buy thrived as one of America’s leading national electronics retail chains. It had built its reputation and market share over three-and-a-half decades, along the way embracing the big-box superstore and the growing line of electronic products within. Indeed, the company and its employees were focused on the bevy of products Best Buy offered, which was fine with its tech-savvy customers. But, as rapidly evolving technology added more and more sophisticated products to retailers’ shelves, the ranks of the not-so-savvy began to expand.
Then came the day in 2002 when Best Buy’s new chief executive realized the need for change—big change. In the years since, the company has remade itself into an organization that concentrates relentlessly on its customers.
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