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Best Buy to Close Down all Stores

November 7, 2011 by J Wade

Carphone Warehouse has announced that it will be closing down all of its 11 Best Buy UK stores, including the Southampton store at the Hedge End Retail Park.

Best Buy is an American company that specialises in providing the latest technology products - in their own words they are "world’s leading technology store". Carphone Warhouse were the chosen partner to the American firm and Best Buy Europe was formed after Best Buy bought 50% of Carphone Warehouse’s retail division for £1.1 billion in May 2008. The first Best Buy stores opened in March 2010.

Carphone Warehouse were planning to open 200 Best Buy stores in the UK, however, the economic downturn has had a dramatic impact on the electrical and consumer technology market. Carphone Warehouse announced that they have failed to make any profit through their Best Buy business and are forced to close down the business. In 2010 Best Buy UK lost £62 million and it is predicted to lose £35 million in the first half of 2011.

Although there are 1,100 people employed by Best Buy in the UK it is hoped that many will be relocated to Carphone Warehouse stores around the country. Carphone Warehouse are planning to increase the range of goods available within their high street stores in a move which could see them competing directly with Currys.

The Southampton store features a "Geek squad" who provide personal technical support and advice to customers on any topic including the latest mobile and gaming technology. It also has a Home Audio room to test home cinema equipment and a gaming experience area for customers to test an compare the latest in games consoles. In addition to mobile communications and gaming Best Buy offers domestic electrical goods and home entertainment.

The commercial technology market is rapidly changing and people today are more likely than ever to turn to the Internet to source the latest products. Although the Best Buy sales representatives do not work on commission many people feel more comfortable obtaining their information from independent online reviews rather than in-store. The good news is that there will be more products available to shoppers in the future if Carphone Warehouse expand their high street stores. This can only benefit town centres across the region, however, even this may not be sustainable in the long-term.

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