The second half of our interview with Best Buy's Ren? Wright

Interview with Best Buy: Part 2

(Continued from Part 1)

I was just talking to one of the Blueshirts, who mentioned that they all get cross-training on the different product categories. Is that an important aspect of the service?

The training for the Blueshirts is absolutely vital and we invested nine weeks for every Blueshirt for training, which is unprecedented in this market, I don’t think people do that. From our point of view, it’s not just about the products, it’s actually the training of how we want them to be with our customers and the standard of service that we want to promote.

It’s really important to talk about different categories, for example computing is going to be very adjacent to broadband connections and those sorts of things, so we just have to make sure they’ve got that training so they understand.

They all have their ‘labour zones’ so they all know which category they work for, there’s a really nice large team of computing guys, but if they don’t know anything about their mobiles they’re a little bit short changed in terms of having the knowledge for the customer. So that’s why the training part is so critical and why the cross-over happens.

How big a part of Best Buy’s overall product portfolio is computing?

It’s what we call one of our primary business drivers – home theatre and computing are our two big categories that we think are destination categories for us. You can see we’re about 20, 25 per cent of the footprint, so we’re serious about it.

At the front of the store we have mobile at one side and laptops on the other and actually that’s because it really figures so strongly in everyone’s everyday life, so we know that’s how people keep in touch with their friends and their family – that’s how they’re using their phone, through the internet, that’s how they’re entertaining themselves in their down time and we actually think that it’s an area which has a large part of our focus and it’s something that’s a large part of our customers’ focus.

I can see you have a lot of laptops but do you do desktops too?

We have quite a neat range of tower PCs and we have a nice range of all-in-ones, which I love. But it’s not about value, if you’re going to buy a (desktop) PC in this market it’s usually for a specific reason that you want it. It can be something as simple as an all-in-one’s great because you can put it on the kitchen table, the kids can do their homework on it, mum can watch iPlayer while she’s cooking the dinner. So the range we’ve selected is to support that market. But laptops, definitely in terms of SKU count, are in the majority of our range.

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