No wonder Best Buy is dying

In one week I’ll be on my way to the beautiful state of Hawaii for a vacation with Mandy. This morning she had a great idea, “We should buy a GoPro,” she said to me. I looked at her, thought about it for a second, and agreed. After all, they just released the GoPro Hero 6 Black only a few days ago and I thought it’d be super fun to do a Hawaii-centric review. So we went to Amazon.com and clicked Buy on the GoPro Hero 6 Black Vacation bundle, which includes the camera, a rechargeable battery, 32GB microSD card, and a GoPro 3-way grip, arm, and tripod mount. We also bought an extra 200GB microSD card which will come in handy since the new GoPro Hero 6 Black can shoot video in [email protected]

But enough about GoPro for now, we’ll save that for the review. I want to talk about Best Buy and all the other brick and mortar retail giants.

The entire purchase process of buying the GoPro and the accessories on Amazon took no more than 2 minutes and literally every product we purchased this morning arrived this afternoon, except for the GoPro Hero 6 Black which is coming Monday. All of this is important to keep in mind as you read the rest of this post.

After we placed the order, Mandy suggested we go to our local Best Buy to look at the GoPro in person, I agreed, plus it provided a little Saturday adventure. So we both get ready and head over to Best Buy, we walk in and it’s pretty much a ghost town, we walk down the main aisle past the Google section, past the Microsoft section, past the Apple section, and finally we see a sign that read “Cameras.” We’re close I thought as we turn right into the cameras section of the store and walk past a hands-on area designed for more than a dozen cameras but only with like 3 DSLRs out available to play with. Well, that’s weird I thought to myself.

I see a sign with the GoPro logo on it and Mandy and I both walk over with excitement in our steps, but that excitement quickly turned to confusion and then disappointment. The GoPro section had a handful of accessories, but no GoPros (of any make/model) on display. We then spotted a display case which was housing probably about 10 GoPros, only one of them being the Hero 6 Black, the rest were the older 5 model.

“Looks like they don’t have any on display,” I said to Mandy a bit crankily. “They must have one somewhere…let’s ask someone,” she replied. We tracked someone down and asked if they had any GoPros on display, “Nope, if it’s not over there, we don’t,” the store associate said and walked off nonchalantly as if we were inquiring about a box of batteries. This is a $500 camera I’m asking about, don’t you care at all? You’re not even going to try to sell me on it? Okay then.

“Let’s go,” I said and we walked out of the Best Buy frustrated. “Why don’t we check PC Richard & Sons? Maybe they have one on display,” Mandy said to me as we rode the escalator down. PC Richard was literally right down the street heading back towards our apartment, so we walked in and went right to the camera section. Nothing. They didn’t even appear to carry GoPro. And to make it even more comical, right across from the cameras was an old display area labeled “Clock Radios” which literally had two clock radios on display. The store was so empty you could hear a pin drop.

We turned around and walked out, but not before passing the toaster section of the store–those they had a ton of on display.

I’m now convinced this is exactly why brick and mortar is suffering so badly.

  • Store associates don’t care, this is just a retail job to them. They negatively impact your store’s brand and image if you don’t treat them well or care.
  • The only thing these stores have going for them is that they can offer a hands-on experience and yet they aren’t taking advantage of that strength at all.
  • Their floor plans are old and outdated and it’s almost cringeworthy. More toasters on display than cameras, seriously? Clock radios? Does anyone under 65 still use those?
  • Buying products at a store is too slow and clunky.

About the author

— Jeff Weisbein

Jeff is the founder & CEO of BestTechie. He has over 10 years of experience working with technology and building businesses. He loves to travel and listen to music.


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