Softly-softly approach is key to avoid mistakes of rivals, stresses international CEO Bob Willett

Best Buy expands on UK plans

Best Buy has further elaborated on its plans for the UK and European markets, stressing that its slowly-slowly approach is critical to it not meeting the same fate as other success business that have tried to make the move across the Atlantic.

Speaking at the British Retail Consortium Annual Conference yesterday, Best Buy’s international chief executive Bob Willett said that the arrangement between the US retail giant and Carphone Warehouse was vital. He also said relying on the knowledge and experience of ex-pats and listening to local customers was another key aspect of its strategy.

"Joint-ventures are wrought with danger unless you get the culture right," he told the conference. "At Carphone Warehouse’s head office in Acton and Best Buy’s in Minnesota, the cultures are the same. We’ve had an engagement for four years and we were married recently."

He praised the business experience of CPW chief executive Charles Dunstone, who he attributed the success of its US chain of mobile stores to. "Charles provided great insight and taught us about mobile phones. Our 500 mobile shops’ market share is now in double digits, whereas it was only in single digits before Charles’ input."

He also spoke about the introduction of its Geek Squad brand into the UK via CPW, alluding to its success as a barometer of Best Buy’s potential for success. He also cited the retailer’s success at introducing its Future Shop chain into the Canadian market using a similar expansion strategy.

Another aspect of the business he said is critical to the retailer’s success is its constant re-invention of itself; something it believes is imperative, especially in a market where what it sells revolves around a constant stream of new and ever more innovative products.

Source: Retail Bulletin

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