Best Buy reorganizes around connected devices

Best Buy reorganizes around connected devices
Seeking to boost revenue and capitalize on some hot businesses, Best Buy says it will combine several of its retail groups into one "connectivity business group". The group will sell cell phones, computers, tablets, e-readers and the appropriate service plans at Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores. The "connectivity business group", called CBG for short, seems similar to what the retailer already offers with its Best Buy Mobile stores.

The difference between CBG and Best Buy Mobile is that the new initiative is much larger than the latter. The group will be comprised of 35,000 employees with 15,000 coming from the latter and the remainder moving over from the computer and tablet area at Best Buy. The products inside the CBG group make up more than half of Best Buy's in-store sales as well as representing the fastest growing sectors for the company, outside of computers. Since Best Buy Mobile salespeople are required to have twice as much training (80 hours vs. 40 hours), those coming over from Best Buy will probably be required to undergo additional training.

Don't expect to see Best Buy change the name of its stores or even use the word connectivity in ads or in-store promotions. What you might notice at Best Buy is that all of the CBG products will be closer to each other on the floor. Cell phones might be next to e-readers, laptops and other CBG products. You should also see more non-phone items at Best Buy Mobile. The goal is to grab the consumer who doesn't realize that he can buy a 3G or 4G tablet or laptop. With cell phones and service plans the largest generator of revenue at Best Buy, getting buyers to move over to other connected products can improve business.

For the retailer, certain devices are not producing business like they could. Best Buy's share of connected tablet and computer sales is only in the single digits. Shawn Score, the President of Best Buy Mobile, says that "Best Buy’s share of people buying mobile broadband is miniscule." The retailer blames this on customers reluctance to purchase costly data plans for tablets or netbooks and Best Buy expects to eventually see carriers offer hourly or daily rates for a data connection. In fact, the retailer says that one unnamed mobile operator will offer a shared data plan later this year, that can work on all of a customer's connected devices. That should bring more business to Best Buy's CBG group and make it a timely move by the retailer.

source: Forbes



1. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

I know they've already kind of started this move by making the mobile manager share supervisory responsibilities over tablets etc. with the computer manager. Also, the sales lead is supposed to be more in charge of getting broadband cards. It's one of the reasons I'm kind of wary of being promoted to a sales lead position if it happens. I love selling phones. I hate selling broadband cards.

3. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

I was at a Best Buys recently and when an employee spotted me looking at the 5" Galaxy Player and it was non-stop upsell. You can see and smell the desperation in the Best Buy employee and this was true at the other Best Buy in my area. To add to the non-stop upsell frustration, the employee didn't know his product -- I kept correcting him on the spec's and features. For example, he told me the battery life was 3 days -- I told him the manufacturer claimed 8 hours (for video) plus he didn't know it had a 2,500 mAh battery. However, I should buy the over $57 black tie protection play in case something happens so I can upgrade to the Samsung Note. Btw, I did get a 24" ASUS monitor that Best Buys was discontinuing at a great price during my prior trip. It's like shopping at Costco, you never know what good deals might show up.

4. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Well, selling the extras helps us out, but it's not like the be all to end all. Black tie is actually usually a pretty good idea, it's the best insurance deal I've ever seen, especially around cell phones. If the guy kept pushing the extra and "seemed desperate" then he wasn't doing his job right. He was probably new. Or just doesn't care enough to fact check. Best Buy Mobile is a little different. We are trained more (and paid better) than general best buy employees. Even then, yes, we can get some idiots working at different stores. Sorry that you had a bad experience.

5. Tux4g63

Posts: 121; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

I don't necessarily think they are trained more or are better compensated. If you truly look at the model layout for the wireless industry, Best Buy Mobile is the single largest player that does not pay its employees commission. Now don't get me wrong, that can lead to throat cutting and unsavory business practices on the part of employees who would want to make an extra buck, but I still feel that from what I have heard, Mobile employees are not fairly compensated for the job they are asked to do. A truly good Mobile salesman has to know incredible amounts of knowledge when it comes to hardware, and the fact that it changes daily on new devices, updates, software, and basic skills to use and teach this stuff. And they must deal with contracts and all the different models/plans/price points that every wireless carrier has. Long story short, because Best Buy Mobile employees need to know so much and be good at it, for the extra $1 or $2 they make per hour, that really pales in comparison to the rest of the industry and what these employees really should be making. Especially in light of this article saying they will be picking up more products and knowledge areas.

6. Baseballer

Posts: 132; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

how old do you have to be to work at best buy or best buy mobile?

7. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

I believe 18 is the cutoff age. I'm not sure though, because I haven't had to worry about age cutoffs for anything except presidential candidacy for a few years, lol.

8. Baseballer

Posts: 132; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Lol nice! thank you

2. thelegend6657 unregistered

Why many American complain that they sucks . My cousin in new York too but the concept of all carriers in a single store is kinda cook . Sorry to be ignorant I am not an American I did not know

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