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Continued: Schafer: Cuts inevitable in Best Buy turnaround

  • Article by: LEE SCHAFER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: February 26, 2013 - 9:14 PM

That’s not necessarily going to be easy to achieve, but employees need to understand one thing about increasing returns on invested capital — it’s what generates growth and new opportunities. If there’s a way Best Buy or any retailer can generate returns like that in new stores, new formats, new merchandise categories, then that money will get invested.

The message inside, what people need to be doing at work the week of a big layoff, is also likely just as simple as the message given to investors in November. I got a sense for it when at the company earlier this month, meeting with Joly and Shawn Score, the leader of Best Buy’s U.S. retail operations.

In the conversation with Score, he was talking about customer “pain points,” a term he means for what annoys or aggravates a Best Buy customer.

Product sold out? That’s a pain point. Find various pricing plans baffling when buying your teenager a new cellphone? That’s another pain point. So is having home theater components not connect to one another without a cable that doesn’t seem to be in the box that came from the store.

“We address those pain points … and it’s done with our entire store population. And our corporate team,” Score said. “If you are doing more to solve those for customers, then it’s the right work. If you are not, you might be working on something that’s not very valuable to the mission.”

 

lee.schafer@startribune.com • 612-673-4302

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