Circuit City

Brian Dunn: The rise and fall of a salesman
April 22, 2012

Long before Brian Dunn resigned as Best Buy Co.'s chief executive amid accusations of misconduct, he described his feelings about the company in starkly personal terms. "I don't want this to sound cornball," Dunn said in a 2008 company video, "but it really matters to me that this is a place where somebody can walk in and build an extraordinary path for himself." Dunn began carving out such a path in 1985. He was 25 years old, with no college education, when his mother helped him get a job selling VCRs and CD players at Best Buy's Minnetonka store.

The Future Retail Wasteland
April 13, 2012

Brian Dunn was practically ebullient. "The one critical thing we offer the world is choice," the Best Buy chief executive officer said in a March phone interview with Bloomberg Businessweek. He was trumpeting in particular his company's role in guiding customers through the expanding smartphone universe. "We provide the latest and greatest choice of all technology gear, from Apple products to Google products, and that brings more opportunity to help people put technology to use. That is a great place for us to be." A week later, reality intruded. The consumer electronics retailer

What Best Buy Needs: Exclusives
April 11, 2012

How things can turn quickly in the retail world. A few years ago, Best Buy was the darling of the electronics industry. The company was killing competitors with its good real estate, brightly lit stores, wide aisles and superior customer service led by its self-described "geek squad." Its chief competitor, Circuit City, was spiraling out of business. Older electronics chains like RadioShack and Tweeter weren't keeping up - the corner store approach just wasn't keeping up with the big box.

"Best Buy was best in class and they still are,"

Best Buy's Silver Lining: Its Mobile Business
April 10, 2012

At least Best Buy still has its cell phone business.

On the heels of a disappointing quarterly report and today's resignation of CEO Brian Dunn, it's easy to think the entire company is doomed to follow in the steps of fallen electronic chains Circuit City and CompUSA. Yet its mobile devices business -- cell phones in particular-- has been impressively resilient during its recent troubles.

The cell phone business, which Best Buy has spent time and money building up, represents one of the rare bright spots in the company.

Worst of All Worlds for Best Buy
April 10, 2012

Another top retail exec gets the heave-ho -this time at Best Buy -and the company says all the right things in a dutiful statement pledging "new leadership" to spur growth and profitability.

Good as far as it went and I'm sure the search committee will try its hardest to land a solid replacement. But even if they combined DNA from the best retail execs of this -or any generation -to conjure up a dream CEO, Best Buy would still need a miracle to avoid the fate suffered by the likes of Good Guys

Best Buy Is No Circuit City
April 5, 2012

Best Buy sent a shock through the retail real estate industry last week after it reported a $1.7 billion loss for its most recent quarter, which included 2011 holiday shopping sales, and announced plans to close 50 big box stores in the coming year and lay off 400 workers.

Media and industry analysts were quick to speculate that Best Buy might befall the same fate as former rival Circuit City chain, which filed for bankruptcy in November 2008. At the time, many analysts were caught off guard by Circuit City's abrupt departure.

It's Time to Strike Down the 'Amazon Exemption'
March 27, 2012

Ducking sales tax is great for Web shoppers but a killer for local governments that are losing out on billions in revenue.

If I want to buy the hot new videogame Mass Effect 3 and have it delivered to my home in New Jersey, I have a few choices. I can go to Amazon.com and pay $59.99. Or I can go to BestBuy.com and pay $59.99, plus New Jersey sales tax of 7%, for a grand total of $64.19. Almost no one would choose to shell out the extra $4.20 that Best Buy

Sears' Home Appliances Chief Resigns After 15 Months
March 7, 2012

Sears Holdings Corp.'s home appliances chief is leaving the company, the Tribune has learned. Dev Mukherjee, president of the home appliances business at Sears since November 2010, plans to leave the Hoffman Estates-based retailer by the end of this week, said Sears spokesman Chris Brathwaite. 

Sears, the nation's largest seller of appliances, didn't give a reason for his departure. The company expects to announce a replacement "in the next few weeks," Brathwaite said. Mukherjee, a former marketing executive atMicrosoft Corp.andIBM Corp., is the Sears third appliance chief to leave the company in four years.