While many independent retailers are predicting hard times to get even harder once the monolithic presence of Best Buy hits the UK, trade body the PCA and buying group Brigantia have said the move won’t necessarily effect smaller, independent retailers.
Both groups – which collectively represent thousands of small retailers and resellers across the UK – think that the real damage will be dealt to larger chains and supermarkets.
"Without a doubt Best Buy have a successful model in the States and will be an influence here in the UK," said John Harris, director at the PCA.
"It is considered that the Best Buy impact is going to affect the other major retailers – DSGi etc. and those other recent entrants into this market, for example, Tesco Super Stores rather than the independent retailer. The consumer will still be looking for advice and guidance, together with personal and after-sales service.
It will obviously change the landscape as far as the major Retail Groups are concerned and add to competition, requiring the independent retailer to recognise the strengths of their offering and the need to differentiate their services and highlight the range of offering they can provide."
Brigantia’s founder Iain Shaw added: "Best Buy is just a wolf in different clothing. If you’ve got a problem you want solved on your computer, you look for someone local to do it.
We’ve heard these stories before about large chains getting into service, The Carphone Warehouse via Geek Squad and Dixons via Tech Guys, but I’ve not noticed hundreds of Brigantia members going out of business."