Best Buy Experiments With Stores As It Bets On Online Shopping

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Best Buy faces a lot of uncertainties with the coronavirus pandemic, but CEO Corie Barry said the retailer is certain customer preferences have permanently changed.In a call with reporters on Tuesday, she said the drastic shift to online shopping had sparked experimentation in her stores and inspired a new pilot that will turn some of them into major online processing centers.

Next month Barry said Best Buy will start testing an in-store delivery hub model. About 250 stores – about a quarter of its roughly 1,000 stores – will be specially designated to handle a higher volume of parcels, although all stores ship orders online.

She said the new approach will help speed up orders and improve efficiency during the holidays and beyond.

She said the role of stores had changed but not diminished, and described them as a “unique and powerful asset”. About 60% of Best Buy’s online orders are either picked up from, or curbside, or shipped from stores.

“It’s not about fewer stores,” she said. “It’s probably about using the stores differently and meeting the customer where they want to be met. ”

Barry said the company chose the designated hubs based on their space, proximity to shipping carriers, and their ability to support same-day and next-day deliveries. She said she will continue to add third-party locations where customers can also pick up orders online. There are more than 16,000 to date.

Best Buy on Tuesday became the latest big box retailer to announce it has exceeded Wall Street expectations for the second quarter. As with Target and Walmart, online sales fueled a large chunk of its sales, especially as people were spending their government stimulus checks or embezzling discretionary dollars that they typically spent on summer vacation or vacation. going to dinner on other items.

Best Buy’s online sales rose 242% in the United States, its best quarterly gain on record. Sales at stores open at least one year rose 5.8%, its strongest same-store sales growth in two years.

Correction: This article has been updated to state that Best Buy’s online sales increased 242% in the United States.

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