Best Buy and the “Nonissue” of Showrooming

Best Buy is a company that’s greatly in need of building a fire under its employees – most particularly in their brick and mortar stores, or “showrooms.” Friday’s WSJ article (October 12, 2012, p. B1) has Best Buy declaring that “showrooming” [customers shopping for merchandise in their stores, then buying online “somewhere else” – translation: “Amazon”] is not an issue with them. Oh, really? – Well, it certainly should be – and not for the reasons that they might be imagining. The showrooming phenomenon actually has to do with the PERSONNEL in their stores – and their lack of . . . luster, shall we say. For a recent purchase of an Epson All-In-One printer, I shopped at the local Best Buy, fully intending to buy there. The “kid” I dealt with (and, no, I have absolutely nothing against young clerks . . . if they KNOW their business) was so non-knowledgeable and so disinclined to be helpful (as in, finding someone who DID know anything . . . assuming that there was anyone in the store that fit that category), that I actually wound up “showrooming” – I went back to my office immediately and ordered the printer that I had selected on-line from Amazon – the printer arrived the next day.
Best Buy: Get a clue – start immediately to deal with the lack of productivity and work ethic of your in-store personnel – from the Geek Squad (who could give a care and profess to know nothing, so that you will go away and leave them alone) to the clerks in the store – this is what’s bringing you down!

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