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Best Buy Launches In-Store Reorganization

April 14, 2009 By Stephen Silver
14
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Best Buy in recent days has put into place a reorganization of its retail operations, meant to place more employees out in front of customers, a company spokesman confirmed Monday. The move will include both pay cuts and limited job eliminations.

The reorganization, which which largely carried out on Saturday, was the culmination of a multiple-month process, beginning with its headquarters layoffs early in this year, in which the company was "looking at our retail operating model and how it was laid out," spokesman Justin Barber told Dealerscope.

The result was a "kind of re-shifting of talent," in which Best Buy "completely revamped our retail operating model," Barber said.

Under the new operating regime, Barber said, Best Buy will be "taking some of the leadership roles, and giving them more customer-facing time. Also, to empower our leadership to lead more effectively."

Barber added that there will be limited job eliminations, but that many of those eliminated will either be transferred to new jobs or given the opportunity to re-apply for newly created positions. He added that there will be some "pay changes," which are not "one size fits all."

He did not know as of now how many jobs will ultimately be eliminated.

Some employees were told about the changes throughout last week, until the official announcement was made Saturday.


 

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COMMENTS

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Most Recent Comments:
PCPE Soooop - Posted on June 18, 2009
Let me add too that 103% to budget doesn't have anything to do with Blue Crew bucks. Its all based on your District's Margin performance. I'm sorry that your store leadership doesn't communicate that.
PCPE Soooop - Posted on June 18, 2009
The new model makes sense, its just too bad that the new model is still only a model. What we are seeing in my store is NO new labor, they in fact are pocketing the money saved from eliminating supervisor positions. Additionally they eliminated the ill-fated C.A. program, the only change in Labor we have seen reflects the C.A. labor moving out into specific departments.

Being one of the Supervisors who survived the down-size (I wish I gotten the severance at this point), it's also apparent that the Managers do not buy into the new change, Supervisor are supposed to be training-coaching for 75% of the time, yet my managers make me sell 80% of the time. Either they don't get it or just don't care and run the store the way they want to.

There need to be more checks and balances for AMs, GMs, DMs and TMs, without those checks and balances most stores do whatever they want, and it usually contradicts the company's plan.

I work for a good company in Best Buy, its just too bad I work for shady Managers.
bby employee - Posted on June 02, 2009
This is what happened in my store. They eliminated all but two sales supervisors. They eliminated almost all the senior positions. they got rid of a few managers. Labor numbers do seem to have increased a little, but those employees have less guidance and it leads to more screwing around. In addition, they reorganized all the departments, so the salespeople don't know the product half the time and need to call for help. Morale is way down. People don't care anymore. Even those employees that used to live best buy, the ones that jump up and down in the meetings, some of them are wanting to leave. All Best Buy did is try to save money by paying its employees less. Did you know that 24 people and 3 equity firms own over 50% of Best Buy stock? And they paid out a large dividend last quarter where Brad Anderson alone made over $8 million. Yet our store did not get our yearly "Blue Crue" bonus despite being 102% to budget! The whole thing is shady. I actually hope the company loses significantly so that they learn their lesson. You cannot expect to thrive in a business that wins only if it sells services and accessories if you have an unprofessional sales force, which is what is going to happen when all the experienced salespeople leave for better paying jobs or out of sheer disgust. It is also disturbing on a macro level, as the erosion of the American job continues and the rich continue to get richer while the poor continue to get poorer. Lots of people lost significant money in this "restructuring" as well as the little prestige some of the titles provide on a resume. All the people that lost titles still do the same things, yet they don't get the formal recognition they once did. Imagine you quit best buy and are preparing a resume. It is much more advantageous to have words like supervisor or senior on there since employers typically look through resumes very quickly. There's just so much wrong with this, and i'm out of space.
Inthestore - Posted on April 18, 2009
This is an overall better move for the customer. The company is taking labor dollars spent on an excess number of leadership who mostly just sell anyway and are splitting it up to provide more assistance. The real numbers are that fewer than 10% of the store staff is effected, and worst case scenario for a long term employee is a $6/hr pay cut, but generally more along the lines of $2-$3/hr. It's already been tried out in several stores over the last couple of years, and the truth is that it's created happier customers who can get help quicker. Best Buy has constantly went after customer feedback and worked to change to keep growing, and it's worked.
Shareholders come first - Posted on April 16, 2009
BB created this problem thru the last year by running skeleton staffing levels. They then hired no holiday help. In the meantime those working there worked harder to make up the gap with little to no recognition for their efforts.
Customer service suffered as a result and now they want to appear to be fixing a problem that they themselves created.

Imagine you've worked for a company for 6 years and they then tell you that you'll need to take a $10 pay cute per hour. That they'll pay you the difference for 9 months then they are done with you as they will then only pay you the new lower wage. This affects nearly 15-20% of the employees in each store.

I would expect a mass exodus of employees within the next 6 months as employee loyalty to Best Buy is worth nothing.

While slightly different from CC in 2005 the result is the same. Those who worked for BB as a career rather than a PT job will leave. With them will go the knowledge and experience. Not to mention the revenue created by them. A FT employee that knows their job makes more revenue for a store than any Manager ever will.

While some may consider themselves better salesmen than BB employees this may be true but there are many BB employees take pride in their efforts and they take the job seriously.

Instead of laying off 1-2 useless Managers per store and then using the extra money to hire more employees for the floor. BB has decided to dilute and lose the talent that sells their products.

I would expect them to follow CC's path within 2-3 years unless they reverse the path.

Morale is at an all time low at stores despite the smiles. GM's act like all is well while customers ask daily how business is and if we are going out of business as well.

What would you say if your boss asked
Retail speak - Posted on April 16, 2009
Genius! As the saying goes retail = service, selection, price, pick 2.
BB is working on the third. With proper training, look out.
GeekSquadFan - Posted on April 15, 2009
You guys obviously don't know anytthing about how to operate a business. Best buy is consolidating supervisor roles to create more jobs at the line level. 1 Sup is 2-3 FT employees. This is to benefit the customer. How often do you get frustrated waiting for help? This is a company who is trying to positively impact those frustrations.c
Also, this company is taking care of anyone who may get a pay cut by keeping there wages the same until march 2010. It's an unprecedented move from a company that takes care of it's employees and customers.
fred johnson - Posted on April 14, 2009
i worked at best buy many many years ago and it felt then as i do know best buy sucks . they dont care about employees it all about how much the employees make the company .
NA - Posted on April 14, 2009
Best Buy has decided to stop having speacialty employee's the pay grade has dropped substancially and the high payed talent will be gone going forward.
Mark Giovannetti - Posted on April 14, 2009
Talk about double speak! The company spokesman must have been in politics before joining BB.
STEVE - Posted on April 14, 2009
RE-ORGANIZE ALL THEY WANT. THEY STILL DON'T, AND NEVER WILL, COMPARE TO AN INDEPENDENT DEALER WHOSE SALES FORCE KNOWS 1000 X'S WHAT THESE GUYS KNOW. I'VE BEEN BEATING THESE GUYS FOR OVER 11 YEARS WITH SALES. THEY DON'T COMPARE. THEY ARE GOOD FOR SOFTWARE, DVD'S, ETC, BUT ANYTHING MAJOR AND EXPENSIVE, LEAVE IT TO THE REAL PROFESSIONALS--THOSE WHO ARE INDEPENDENT RETAIL SPECIALISTS !!
man from glad - Posted on April 14, 2009
Ever since the buzzword "model" has been used, companies are trying to use a new kind of assembly sheet and glue for their "kits".
Companies like BB are looking for ways to eliminate brick & mortar. They will find the ways. It will be a brave new world and the manufacturers will love it. Disconnected customer service.
leadership - Posted on April 14, 2009
yeah right those new positions are district support no one at the store level with out a 5 job grade will even be noticed. New jobs? more like from leadership to full time with a massive pay cut...this is B.S. CC did the same thing and look what happened. Come on cashiers with safe access? thats not smart. Change is suppost to be for the good when speaking about BBY.
Click here to view archived comments...
Archived Comments:
PCPE Soooop - Posted on June 18, 2009
Let me add too that 103% to budget doesn't have anything to do with Blue Crew bucks. Its all based on your District's Margin performance. I'm sorry that your store leadership doesn't communicate that.
PCPE Soooop - Posted on June 18, 2009
The new model makes sense, its just too bad that the new model is still only a model. What we are seeing in my store is NO new labor, they in fact are pocketing the money saved from eliminating supervisor positions. Additionally they eliminated the ill-fated C.A. program, the only change in Labor we have seen reflects the C.A. labor moving out into specific departments.

Being one of the Supervisors who survived the down-size (I wish I gotten the severance at this point), it's also apparent that the Managers do not buy into the new change, Supervisor are supposed to be training-coaching for 75% of the time, yet my managers make me sell 80% of the time. Either they don't get it or just don't care and run the store the way they want to.

There need to be more checks and balances for AMs, GMs, DMs and TMs, without those checks and balances most stores do whatever they want, and it usually contradicts the company's plan.

I work for a good company in Best Buy, its just too bad I work for shady Managers.
bby employee - Posted on June 02, 2009
This is what happened in my store. They eliminated all but two sales supervisors. They eliminated almost all the senior positions. they got rid of a few managers. Labor numbers do seem to have increased a little, but those employees have less guidance and it leads to more screwing around. In addition, they reorganized all the departments, so the salespeople don't know the product half the time and need to call for help. Morale is way down. People don't care anymore. Even those employees that used to live best buy, the ones that jump up and down in the meetings, some of them are wanting to leave. All Best Buy did is try to save money by paying its employees less. Did you know that 24 people and 3 equity firms own over 50% of Best Buy stock? And they paid out a large dividend last quarter where Brad Anderson alone made over $8 million. Yet our store did not get our yearly "Blue Crue" bonus despite being 102% to budget! The whole thing is shady. I actually hope the company loses significantly so that they learn their lesson. You cannot expect to thrive in a business that wins only if it sells services and accessories if you have an unprofessional sales force, which is what is going to happen when all the experienced salespeople leave for better paying jobs or out of sheer disgust. It is also disturbing on a macro level, as the erosion of the American job continues and the rich continue to get richer while the poor continue to get poorer. Lots of people lost significant money in this "restructuring" as well as the little prestige some of the titles provide on a resume. All the people that lost titles still do the same things, yet they don't get the formal recognition they once did. Imagine you quit best buy and are preparing a resume. It is much more advantageous to have words like supervisor or senior on there since employers typically look through resumes very quickly. There's just so much wrong with this, and i'm out of space.
Inthestore - Posted on April 18, 2009
This is an overall better move for the customer. The company is taking labor dollars spent on an excess number of leadership who mostly just sell anyway and are splitting it up to provide more assistance. The real numbers are that fewer than 10% of the store staff is effected, and worst case scenario for a long term employee is a $6/hr pay cut, but generally more along the lines of $2-$3/hr. It's already been tried out in several stores over the last couple of years, and the truth is that it's created happier customers who can get help quicker. Best Buy has constantly went after customer feedback and worked to change to keep growing, and it's worked.
Shareholders come first - Posted on April 16, 2009
BB created this problem thru the last year by running skeleton staffing levels. They then hired no holiday help. In the meantime those working there worked harder to make up the gap with little to no recognition for their efforts.
Customer service suffered as a result and now they want to appear to be fixing a problem that they themselves created.

Imagine you've worked for a company for 6 years and they then tell you that you'll need to take a $10 pay cute per hour. That they'll pay you the difference for 9 months then they are done with you as they will then only pay you the new lower wage. This affects nearly 15-20% of the employees in each store.

I would expect a mass exodus of employees within the next 6 months as employee loyalty to Best Buy is worth nothing.

While slightly different from CC in 2005 the result is the same. Those who worked for BB as a career rather than a PT job will leave. With them will go the knowledge and experience. Not to mention the revenue created by them. A FT employee that knows their job makes more revenue for a store than any Manager ever will.

While some may consider themselves better salesmen than BB employees this may be true but there are many BB employees take pride in their efforts and they take the job seriously.

Instead of laying off 1-2 useless Managers per store and then using the extra money to hire more employees for the floor. BB has decided to dilute and lose the talent that sells their products.

I would expect them to follow CC's path within 2-3 years unless they reverse the path.

Morale is at an all time low at stores despite the smiles. GM's act like all is well while customers ask daily how business is and if we are going out of business as well.

What would you say if your boss asked
Retail speak - Posted on April 16, 2009
Genius! As the saying goes retail = service, selection, price, pick 2.
BB is working on the third. With proper training, look out.
GeekSquadFan - Posted on April 15, 2009
You guys obviously don't know anytthing about how to operate a business. Best buy is consolidating supervisor roles to create more jobs at the line level. 1 Sup is 2-3 FT employees. This is to benefit the customer. How often do you get frustrated waiting for help? This is a company who is trying to positively impact those frustrations.c
Also, this company is taking care of anyone who may get a pay cut by keeping there wages the same until march 2010. It's an unprecedented move from a company that takes care of it's employees and customers.
fred johnson - Posted on April 14, 2009
i worked at best buy many many years ago and it felt then as i do know best buy sucks . they dont care about employees it all about how much the employees make the company .
NA - Posted on April 14, 2009
Best Buy has decided to stop having speacialty employee's the pay grade has dropped substancially and the high payed talent will be gone going forward.
Mark Giovannetti - Posted on April 14, 2009
Talk about double speak! The company spokesman must have been in politics before joining BB.
STEVE - Posted on April 14, 2009
RE-ORGANIZE ALL THEY WANT. THEY STILL DON'T, AND NEVER WILL, COMPARE TO AN INDEPENDENT DEALER WHOSE SALES FORCE KNOWS 1000 X'S WHAT THESE GUYS KNOW. I'VE BEEN BEATING THESE GUYS FOR OVER 11 YEARS WITH SALES. THEY DON'T COMPARE. THEY ARE GOOD FOR SOFTWARE, DVD'S, ETC, BUT ANYTHING MAJOR AND EXPENSIVE, LEAVE IT TO THE REAL PROFESSIONALS--THOSE WHO ARE INDEPENDENT RETAIL SPECIALISTS !!
man from glad - Posted on April 14, 2009
Ever since the buzzword "model" has been used, companies are trying to use a new kind of assembly sheet and glue for their "kits".
Companies like BB are looking for ways to eliminate brick & mortar. They will find the ways. It will be a brave new world and the manufacturers will love it. Disconnected customer service.
leadership - Posted on April 14, 2009
yeah right those new positions are district support no one at the store level with out a 5 job grade will even be noticed. New jobs? more like from leadership to full time with a massive pay cut...this is B.S. CC did the same thing and look what happened. Come on cashiers with safe access? thats not smart. Change is suppost to be for the good when speaking about BBY.