The advantages to the store-as-fulfillment center plan are that Best Buy can deliver products faster and cheaply. The downside to that strategy is that Best Buy’s in-store inventory visibility isn’t good and the staff may not be as efficient as people in a distribution center.
The conventional wisdom would say that Best Buy’s stores are an albatross around their neck — much like they were for Blockbuster. But what if they can shift them into being more along the lines of warehouses — much like the ones Amazon is trying to build as quickly as possible — for fast local delivery? And what if only a small area of those warehouses were actually a storefront to show off their goods?
This would all take a lot of logistics (and possibly some re-zoning?) but it doesn’t sound like the craziest idea in the world. Again, what if your weakness is actually your strength?
Sounds like Joly might be onto something. But he can forget the ‘Microsoft Experience Stores’.
First Round Capital and NEA decided to proceed with a lawsuit against Best Buy, after that retail chain apparently stole the analytics and business plan of Techforward, a startup funded by the two venture firms. The evidence is amazingly blatant, especially emails leading up to Best Buy launching its own nationwide buy-back program, and pulls in $140M.
Josh Koppelman, Why First Round Capital funded a lawsuit
[…] after 18 months in court, a nine-person jury found Best Buy liable for misappropriation of TechForward’s trade secrets and breach of contract, and returned a verdict of $22 million in favor of TechForward. And the jury also found by clear and convincing evidence that Best Buy did so willfully and maliciously, so the judge awarded an additional $5 million in punitive damages.
Best Buy deserves to go out of business. And anyone considering participation in the College Innovators Fund — innovative ideas from college students — should walk away from these crooks.
IKEA has announced launching the Uppleva line of integrated HDTV and furniture: it’s genius, and completely supports my contention from yesterday that only two kinds of retailers are growing. One, like IKEA and Apple, are selling their own designs, more or less exclusively. The second are specialty purveyors of carefully curated goods, like Trader Joe’s.
The Uppleva line is going to be very successful, I predict, and opens the TV market to IKEA, and will hasten the demise of chains like Best Buy:
Matt Burns via TechCrunch
The new UPPLEVA line completely disrupts the big box store’s HDTV buying process with a high-dose injection of Ikea genius.
Ikea has yet to announce the nitty-gritty details around the UPPLEVA line including the price. The line will apparently hit key stores in Stockholm, Milan, Paris, Gdansk, and Berlin in June 2012. Come autumn it will arrive at additional stores in Sweden, Italy, France, Poland, Denmark, Spain, Norway, and Portugal with a more broad launch following in 2013.
The YouTube teaser lays out some basic spec concerning the HDTV. It seems up to the task with a 1080p LED LCD screen, 400Hz response time, and some sort of smart TV functionality — all good stuff. But the HDTV really doesn’t matter. Even though it has the specs of a high-end screen, Ikea could have employed a mid-range model and still made the same magic.
Ikea understands that everything needs to work together. This new product line from the Swedish retailer exemplifies the notion of an all-in-one system. Sure, this probably doesn’t appeal to audio heads or A/V geeks, but it brings a beautiful system that works to the masses. Like with everything else Ikea sells, the UPPLEVA system is completely customizable with a range of TV sizes and cabinet designs. Buyers probably still have to piece them together using those dumb keys, though.
IKEA is one of the few companies that can really battle Apple for the living room.
“People are willing to disproportionately spend for these devices because they are becoming so important to their lives,” Best Buy Chief Executive Brian Dunn said in an interview. “We are really positioning the company to be the place where people can come and see the best of the connected world.”