Best Buy closing 50 big boxes in 2012, less locations for you to buy your Apple gear

Best Buy will be closing 50 of their big box stores in 2012, 8 previously announced and 42 more just made official. Most of them will be shut down by mid-May, a last few by July. The release talks about employees, and how they'll try to find them positions within the organization, but it doesn't speak clearly about a strategy moving forward. Only:

More broadly, our previously announced retail store actions are intended to increase points of presence, while decreasing overall square footage, for increased flexibility – including key store remodels with a new Connected Store format, while continuing to build out the successful Best Buy Mobile small format stores throughout the U.S. We will continue to share details of such actions as the year progresses. We are committed to making it easier for customers to shop with us, whenever and wherever they want.

I walk into an Apple Store and it's packed, and there easily a dozen if not a couple dozen Apple Store employees on the floor helping people. I walk into Best Buy and it's almost always empty -- not of customers but of employees. Whole sections are barren wastelands where's there's absolutely no one to help you. Or there's one poor staffer trying to help 3-6 people at once. I often leave, unable to find what I need or get any help, and I know I'm not alone. It's just not a good retail experience. And that's what Apple nails with the Apple Store.

Unfortunately, not everyone has an Apple Store near them, and if the Best Buy goes too, it makes it just that much harder to buy iPhones, iPods, iPads, and Macs in a brick and mortar store. Sure, pretty much everyone can buy online, but touching an Apple product, using them, is what drives sales.

Maybe this is a regrouping, a way for Best Buy to do more with less, and make the stores that remain better. If it's just cost cutting, however, well... seldom does starvation make something grow strong.

Full PR below, hit the source link for a complete list of the stores.

Source: Best buy

Brings total of store closures to 50 by end of 2012Most locations will permanently close by May 12; three additional locations to close by late summerRICHFIELD, Minn. – April 14, 2012 – Best Buy announced plans March 29, 2012 to close 50 U.S. stores as part of a number of key initiatives for this year. To date, we have closed two stores this year (one in Kansas City, Mo., and one in Scottsdale, Ariz.), plus have notified five Twin Cities stores and one San Antonio store that they will close later this year.This morning, we have confirmed the remaining 42 store locations that will close. A complete list of store locations can be found at the end of this statement. Employees of these 42 stores have been notified this morning.This was not an easy decision to make. We chose these stores carefully, and are working to ensure the impact to our employees will be as minimal as possible, while serving all customers in a convenient and satisfying way. But we also recognize the impact this news has on the people who deserve respect for the contributions they have made to our business.We will be working to help these employees find other positions inside Best Buy. If they don’t find new positions, or if they choose not to work at a different location, a transition including severance packages will be available.Three of these 42 locations remain open today, Saturday; the rest of the affected stores are closed today, and will reopen Sunday, April 15. Customers currently doing business with these stores are being contacted today.We expect most of these stores will permanently close by May 12. Three additional locations are expected to permanently close later this summer. 2Best Buy continues to have additional retail store locations – big boxes and standalone Best Buy Mobile stores – for customers to choose from in these affected locations.More broadly, our previously announced retail store actions are intended to increase points of presence, while decreasing overall square footage, for increased flexibility – including key store remodels with a new Connected Store format, while continuing to build out the successful Best Buy Mobile small format stores throughout the U.S. We will continue to share details of such actions as the year progresses. We are committed to making it easier for customers to shop with us, whenever and wherever they want.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • just passed my local best buy and the lot is 100% capacity. I think it's a good move as many of these stores are not like my local. they are in areas that aren't the most profitable i'd guess. One that is in my metro area is just blocks away from a second so it's kinda redundant.
  • Every decade or two, another consumer electronics retailer declines and falls. And maybe another one rises to take its place. Pacific Stereo, Circuit City, The Good Guys, Comp USA. All came and went. Partly because they faced new, more efficient competition, partly because they milked one consumer electronics trend for too long, partly because of the convenience and price competition of online e-tailers.
    But maybe the major reason for consumer electronics chains' decline is because they're simply not "new" any more. Best Buy has been around since 1983. Long enough to be "your father's consumer electronics store." Time for a newer, hipper brand to replace them.
  • I noticed that any of these stores are in Big cities... New York, Boston, Richmond, Ontario, Kansas City, Tampa.
    To me it sounds like many of these closures are of second and third stores in the same city, to me that makes perfect sense as a money saving move.
    That said Best Buy SERIOUSLY needs to improve their customer service, its almost turning into a joke!
  • best buy always was overpriced anyways. Once circuit city went under they jacked prices up even more.
  • Yep, you are most certainly right.
    I'm also tired of Best Buy's hard-sell w/ extended warranties. It's one of the main reasons I stopped shopping at big box stores.
  • Have to agree the number of staff to the customer sq/f size is atrocious. Too few staff to the areas they need to cover. Never mind that total lack of training. Cut the stores in half and get more better trained help and that's a recipe for success.
    For 10 yrs I worked at Cusa. We went down not cause of not having staff. Our downfall was we couldn't buy for sqwat. Then we were beholden to AOL cause they gave us cash. So every suc, err customer that's right customer, was sold AOL. How they were sold it I won't say. Just that our Customer service was very busy cause of it. Oh and the fact that we were bought by Carlos Slim. Everything after that we were taking bets as to how fast we would be closed.
  • I worked at Computer City a year before CompUSA bought them out and took over their stores. Once I saw how the corporate suites ran that business, I jumped shipped. All they cared about was tacking on extended warranties. It didn't matter how much product you sold.
  • The one in Kansas City is brand new (less than 2yrs), it is in a "prime" location too. But it's also across the street from Nebraska Furniture Mart, just goes to show you that Best Buy cannot compete.
  • rejoice citizens of miami our bestbuy store will still be open and functional because its not on the death lise >:)
  • I am still trying to figure out why Best Buy put a guitar store. Great on paper I guess, but a lot of money hanging on the walls not moving.
  • never got that either but now i don't have to drive to guitar center.
  • to play and not buy anything that is.
  • I don't get complaining about customer service there. I've never had to ask best buy sales people a thing. Theydon't know more then me and the make crap wages. Why would anyone expect them to be informed about anything.
  • Can say the same for Verizon,T-Mobile, sprint, and at$t. No one that regularly read any sites like these know more than any cs reps.
  • Whoops. Mean know any less than cs reps.
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