Best Buy is a multinational retailer of technology and entertainment products, services offering consumer electronics and more. Its family of brands and partnerships includes brands such as Best Buy, Audiovisions, Future Shop, Geek Squad, Jiangsu, Five Star, Magnolia Audio Video, Pacific Sales, and Cowboom.
The company is comprised of over 155,000 employees, and they apply its talents to bring the benefits of its brands to the lives of its customers through retail locations, multiple call centres, and websites, in-home solutions, product delivery, and activities in its community. Best Buy’s product portfolio includes consumer electronic video products such as televisions, digital cameras and accessories, digital camcorders, and DVD players; audio products comprising MP3 players, navigation products, home theatre audio systems, and components; mobile electronics home office products comprising notebook and desktop computers, monitors, mobile phones and related subscription service commissions, hard drives, and networking equipment; entertainment software products such as video gaming hardware and software, DVDs, CDs, digital downloads, and computer software; and appliances, such as kitchen appliances, plumbing fixtures, snacks, and beverages.
Best Buy provides its users with service contracts; extended warranties; product repair; broadband voice, data, and information technology services; and delivers and installs home theatre, mobile audio, and appliances. In addition, the company engages in online retailing through BestBuy.com, BestBuy.ca, BestBuy.com.cn, espanol.BestBuy.com, and BestBuyMobile.com; CarphoneWarehouse.com; Five-Star.cn; FutureShop.ca; GeekSquad.com and GeekSquad.ca; MagnoliaAV.com; Napster.com; PacificSales.com; PhoneHouse.com; and Speakeasy.net. Best Buy was founded in 1966 and is headquartered in Litchfield, M.N. with additional offices in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, and Europe.
1966: Incorporated: 1966 as Sound of Music, Inc.
1967: Sound of Music acquired Kencraft Hi-Fi Company and Bergo Company.
1969: Sound of Music had three stores and Schulze bought out his business partner.
1970: Richard became the sole owner of the store as he bought out the stakes of his partner.
1971: Schulze buys out his partner and begins to expand.
1973: Anderson had begun working at Best Buy while attending seminary school.
1981: The Burnsville location featured a high-volume, low-price business model, which was borrowed partially from Schulze's successful Tornado Sale. The Roseville, Minnesota, Sound of Music location, at the time the largest and most profitable Sound of Music store, was hit by a tornado. Till that year, he was happy selling only his stereo equipment and with the income it generated.
1982: Future Shop had been founded by Hassan Khosrowshahi, who opened the chain's first outlet in Vancouver, British Columbia. In spite of having little experience selling appliances, his store was able to generate $9.5 million in revenue that year.
1983: With seven stores and $10 million in annual sales, Sound of Music was renamed Best Buy Company, Inc. The company changed its name from Sound of Music, Inc. to Best Buy Co., Inc.
1984: THen, Schulze took another major step by introducing the superstore format and quickly capturing 42 percent of the local market.
1985: Meantime, Best Buy was taken public, raising $8 million through an IPO, and two years later gained a listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Dunn had joined Best Buy as a sales associate.
1986: Best Buy began to offer entertainment software, adding video rental departments and CDs.
1987: Now they decided to expand their services throughout the Midwest region, they had more than 25 stores. Best Buy debuted on the New York Stock Exchange. Price wars were the chief culprit, and they were still escalating to a frenzied pitch in Best Buy’s core Twin Cities market, which Highland had boldly entered. At the time the company operated just eight stores in the Midwest, but by this year, this number had tripled, while sales and earnings had spiralled upward to $239 million and $7.7 million, respectively.
1988: Although sales had practically doubled to $439 million, net earnings had declined by 64 percent.
1989: Despite the earnings downturn (net profits for the year ending March 31 slumped 26 percent, to just $2 million), and the looming presence of Highland, revenues were still climbing, albeit more slowly.
1991: In April, even before Best Buy had gotten around to converting its 10 Twin Cities stores, loss-ravaged Highland exited the metropolitan area, conceding defeat and closing all six of its stores there. For the first half of the year, Best Buy outshone all other New York Stock Exchange stocks in percentage appreciation. Best Buy itself reported a loss of $9.4 million, but this was due to a $14 million change in its method of accounting for extended service plans.
1992: He later expanded the chain throughout the remaining Canadian provinces and even made an abortive move into the United States market, opening 28 stores in five states and losing millions before beating a hasty retreat. This year, it hit the $1 billion mark in annual revenues.
1993: The concept became a big hit with the customers and soon Best buy had recorded its highest-earning year with total revenues touching the $1.5 billion mark. Numerous other openings, including a small number of megastores (40,000- to 50,000-square-foot self-service warehouses emphasizing the emerging growth lines of prerecorded music and computers), brought Best Buy’s tally to 151 stores by year-end.
1994: The Virginia company also had plans to enter Kansas City, Missouri and the Twin Cities. Best Buy decided to expand into the Pacific Northwest where other consumer electronics chains were strong. Since this year Best Buy has sponsored the annual Best Buy Children's Foundation LPGA Golf Tournament.
1995: President of Mitsubishi Consumer Electronics America Jack Osborn explained to Forbes that his company chose to sell through smaller retailers because they offer better service and cannot use their size to pressure Mitsubishi into offering lower wholesale prices. In an effort to reverse this trend, Best Buy announced that it would revamp its merchandising format for high-quality audio products.
1996: The company was particularly hurt that year by an ill-timed decision to borrow heavily to add $300 million of merchandise, mainly computers, for the holiday season. From 1996-97, Best Buy opened nearly 95 stores as its popularity was growing. It introduced gourmet kitchen appliances to its outlets offering cookware, small electronics, cutlery, and spices.
1997: Saddled with mountains of unsold PCs, Best Buy had to ask its creditors and vendors for an extra 60 days to pay its bills. Best Buy had achieved its goal of becoming the industry leader, but it paid the price in profits, which had fallen to a dismal $1.7 million on revenues of $7.77 billion, translating into a minuscule profit margin of 0.02 percent. Schulze and his partner operated the store for five years, but later that year Schulze bought out his partner and began expanding the chain.
1998: While this restructuring proceeded, the chain's expansion was slowed considerably, and only 12 new stores opened during the fiscal year ending in February. In March, Best Buy officially entered the e-commerce realm by launching an online music store on its bestbuy.com website. Inventory began turning over at a quicker pace, a key criterion for retail success, and net profits for 98 jumped to a record $94.5 million on record revenues of $8.36 billion. The Concept IV format debuts, featuring more high-tech products, merchandise grouped in such departments as home theatre, cash registers throughout the store, and "high touch" areas for digital products where more employee interaction is needed. Best Buy continued adding DVD movie titles and planned to continue expanding its DVD movie area. Best Buy began to offer entertainment software, adding video rental departments and CDs. It was the first major retailer to sell digital versatile disks (DVDs) and related software.
1999: Sales of digital products reached 17 percent of total sales. Revenues surpass $10 billion. The company planned to open another 25 stores.
2000: In August, through an agreement with Whirlpool Corporation, Best Buy stores began selling KitchenAid brand appliances. Profits jumped 60 percent, to $347.1 million, and revenues grew smartly again, reaching $12.49 billion.
2001: In January, Best Buy acquired Musicland Stores Corporation, a Minnetonka, Minnesota-based retailer that sold home entertainment products under the Sam Goody, Suncoast Motion Picture Company, Media Play and OnCue brands. In November, the company spent $368 million on Future Shop Ltd., the largest consumer electronics retailer in Canada. Among the 62 new Best Buy stores opened were 15 located in the greater New York City area. Heightened competition and a slowdown in consumer spending cut into profits, which increased only 14 percent over the previous year.
2002: Best Buy announced in April that it would rebrand the On Cue stores under the more nationally known Sam Goody name. Brad Anderson succeeded Richard Schulze as Best Buy CEO in July. Toward this same end, Best Buy bought Minneapolis-based Geek Squad, Inc. in October, for about $3 million. Despite the completion of this acquisition, Best Buy pushed ahead with a previously planned expansion of the Best Buy chain into Canada, opening eight stores in the Toronto area in the fall.
2003: Best Buy shifted its corporate headquarters from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, where it had operated out of eight scattered buildings, to a more compact 37-acre campus in nearby Richfield. Some $500 million in special charges, mainly related to the money-losing Musicland operations, cut profits for the fiscal year to $99 million; Best Buy divests Musicland; Magnolia Hi-Fi is renamed Magnolia Audio Video; Best Buy pays its first dividend.
2004: Fueled by a 7.1 percent increase in comparable store sales, the newly refocused Best Buy rebounded with its best year ever in fiscal. Best Buy introduced the Reward Zone loyalty program as part of its customer-centricity transformation and hired the Virtucom group to handle its online content.
2005: In April, Best Buy began eliminating mail-in rebates in response to negative customer reactions against them, and instead started giving out instant rebates via notebook computers.
2006: In May, Best Buy acquired a majority interest in Chinese appliance retailer Jiangsu Five Star Appliance for $180 million.
2007: In January, the first Best Buy-branded store in China officially opened in Shanghai, China. In March, Best Buy acquired Speakeasy, a Seattle, Washington-based broadband VOIP, data and IT services provider. Another notable event in the year was the purchase of Napster and Cinema Now which they hoped would help them to keep up with the advancement of digital downloads which were causing a sharp decrease in media and music sales in stores.
2008: In February, Best Buy opened its first store in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In July, Best Buy announced that it would start selling musical instruments and related gear in over 80 of its retail stores, making the company the second-largest musical-instrument distributor in the US. Best Buy became the first third-party retail seller of Apple's iPhone in September. Joly had previously served as CEO of Carlson, a hospitality conglomerate.
2009: In November, Best Buy partnered with Roxio's CinemaNow to launch an on-demand streaming service which allowed streaming from any Internet device sold by Best Buy. Brian Dunn replaced Schulze as the CEO of the company, although Schulze stays active in the company and serves as the chairman of the board. As a way to improve its image and past environmental issues, the company introduced a recycling program that has since collected nearly half-a-billion pounds of consumer electronics and e-waste and is available at all its stores for a nominal fee.
2010: In April, Best Buy opened its first United Kingdom-based Best Buy-branded store in Thurrock. Best Buy launched their Video Game trade-in program which allowed them to purchase used video games and resell them similar to that of GameStop. An increasing trend towards online shopping began to erode revenues and profits.
2011: In November, Best Buy purchased The Carphone Warehouse's share of Best Buy Mobile for $1.3 billion.
2012: In March, Best Buy announced a quarterly loss of 1.7 billion dollars which leads them to announce the move from the big box strategy of the past. The company eventually opened 11 Best Buy stores in the United Kingdom, all of which were closed early that year.
2013: In April, Best Buy exited the European consumer electronics market when it sold its 50% stake in The Carphone Warehouse back to the UK-based mobile phone retailer. The company has 1,150 stores and a sales revenue of $50 billion.
2014: A 4% dip in sales for the June 30, quarter, marked the 10th quarter in a row where Best Buy's sales had declined.
2015: On March 28, Best Buy announced the shutdown of the Future Shop chain in Canada; 65 of its 131 former locations were converted into Best Buy locations, while the rest (primarily those in close proximity to an existing Best Buy) were closed permanently.
2018: On March 1, the company announced that it would shut down its 250 standalone Best Buy Mobile stores in the United States by the end of May, due to low revenue and high costs. On May 9, the company unveiled a new logo for the first time in nearly three decades. On July 2, Best Buy announced it was cutting the amount of store space devoted to selling physical music, citing the popularity of streaming services as having reduced sales.
2019: Hubert Joly is executive chairman of Best Buy, having succeeded as CEO by Corie Barry in June.
2020: During the lockdown and increased frequency of working from home, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Best Buy announced that its US online sales (increased purchase of computers, printers, tablets, fitness tech and other gear) for the Q2 of 2020 had tripled.
2021: Despite an increase in sales of computer equipment due to an increase in remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic, Best Buy laid off over 5,000 employees early this year and forced many others into part-time positions.
We're a growth company focused on better solving the unmet needs of our customers—and we rely on our employees to solve those puzzles. The emphasis of this mission statement is on the customers and how the company impacts on them with services that are a cut above the rest.
To positively impact the world, enrich people s lives through technology and contribute to the common good.
Corie Barry (CEO)
Whit Alexander (Chief Transformation Innovation & Membership Ofcr)
Claudia F. Munce (Board Member)
Adrian Vasile (Precinct Chief)
David W. Kenny (Board Member)
Allison Peterson (EVP, Chief Customer Officer)
Eugene A. Woods (Board Member)
Anthonia bright Red (Chief Executive Officer)
Hubert Joly (Executive Chairman)
Arielle Brooks (Senior Sales)
J. Patrick Doyle (Chairman)
Bradbury H. Anderson (SVP Supply Chain (Retired))
Karen A. McLoughlin (Board Member)
Brian Pauls (Chief Audit Executive)
Kathy J. Higgins Victor (Board Member)
James Wheeler (Founder)
Lisa M. Caputo (Board Member)
Richard M. Schulze (Founder)
Mario J. Marte (Board Member)
Whit Alexander (Chief Transformation Innovation & Membership Ofcr)
Recognition and Awards
James Wheeler (Founder)
Richard M. Schulze (Founder)
Retail and Consumer Goods