Best Buy on Best Behavior

Instead of sitting back and gloating as it watches its biggest competitor flounder, Best Buy is doing whatever it can to prevent a trip down the same  path.

Best Buy's President and COO Brian Dunn stated that "In 42 years of retailing, we've never seen such difficult times for the consumer. People are making dramatic changes in how much they spend, and we're not immune from those forces."

Ya think?

They've cut their profit forecast in light of the uncertainty and volatility of the financial world.

Perhaps more interesting is this internal Best Buy memo, leaked to The Consumerist.  One of the biggest complaints folks have with Circuit City was a lack of customer service and knowledgeable sales staff. Looks like Best Buy is taking the bull by the horns on this one.

"Let us be very clear. These reduced earnings expectations reflect the unprecedented tumult in the financial services industry, which has reduced consumer spending across the board in retail. The outstanding work of our 165,000 employees doesn't make us immune to our environment. We can't change the overall level of consumer spending, but we can focus on deepening our relationships with customers wherever we interact with them: in our stores, on our Web sites and through our call centers.

While our comps have been negative, we gained market share in September and October. So we're getting a bigger piece of a business that is currently shrinking. Customer satisfaction remains at all-time highs. Employee turnover is at historic lows. We firmly believe that our strategy of customer centricity is of great value in driving our performance versus the industry, and that's the strategy we plan to pursue to continue to strengthen our position in the marketplace.

We must find ways to win with the customers who are coming to us today. Serving our customers better than anyone else is the best way to create value for customers, employees and shareholders alike. We need every employee engaged in serving customers better, and more efficiently. We want your unique perspective on what we should do differently in this market, based on what you see and touch, and using the talents you have.

We could let today's turmoil distract us from serving customers. Other retailers might do that. But we will not. Instead, we will use these circumstances to redouble our efforts and deepen our commitment to each other, to our company, to our strategy and to the customers we serve. In so doing, we will strengthen and fortify ourselves as a team. A winning team. That's who we are, and that's Best Buy."

Looks like shopping at Best Buy might actually be a positive experience. Good customer service to keep customers in your store. What an interesting concept . . .  —Leslie Shapiro

The Consumerist