In a terrible move for the HomeAV market, indicating that a recovery is still far away, Best Buy has announced they will lay off at least 2,400 people — including at least 600 Geek Squad members. The report, first made public by CNBC last week, says that Best Buy is still moving to become a stronger, better retailer to compete with the online sales surge.
The entire CNBC story is here: http://www.cnbc.com/id/48098403/Best_Buy_to_Layoff_2_400_Employees
So, why do we care? Well, even though we, the high-end HomeAV market integrators, do jobs much more custom than Best Buy, it indicates a shift has continued in consumer electronics — people feel more comfortable buying stuff online rather than having to see it before they buy it. Sure, we can blame this on the trend known as “showrooming” where people supposedly go to a store and look at the merchandise before they buy it online, but it’s not happening to the level places like Best Buy would like you to believe.
The truth is, quality of nearly everything has gone up — and in most cases, higher than the customer level of expectation. Heck, evenVIZIO makes good HDTVs now. And, thanks to Apple and the success it’s had getting us to buy stuff direct, it’s hurting Best Buy and WILL eventually hurt you — the integrator.
Deny it all you want, but you need to plan accordingly. When Apple hits the market with a TV that can play content from ANY Apple-branded device and then even some other third-party devices without any custom integration required — watch out. You will be out of a job unless you prepare for this and plan accordingly.
And did you know that Microsoft (Windows iOS) and Samsung (Android) are doing the same thing? So, not only will you be competing with an Apple-like whole home system (that’s just automatically there), but if you’re a Microsoft-geek or an iOS hating, Android-loving freak, you’ll also be able to do this wireless stuff with nothing but software — just by opening an app.
What are you to do? Go back and read the last four years of issues of rAVe as we’ve had all sorts of advice for years on this subject. You NEED to be in service-sales — not product sales. Period!
Gary Kayye is the founder of rAVe [Publications]. Reach him at email@example.com