Best Buy, the US technology retailing giant that only opened its UK superstores last year in a partnership with Carphone Warehouse, has announced that it is to close all 11 “pilot” UK branches. They have blamed the closings on “challenging economic conditions”, but put more accurately they have struggled to compete ina relatively saturated UK market where margins are being squeezed by established players offline such as PC World, as well as online by the likes of Amazon and Play.com.
Instead of the huge superstores, Best Buy Europe will now focus on selling online and through the smaller mobile phone stores on the high street – such as Carphone Warehouse of which Best Buy will continue to own 50% of in the UK.
In another announcement, Best Buy has announced that it will be buying Carphone Warhouse’s US mobile phone business for £865 million – a business that has been very successful on the back of soaring sales of smartphones and tablets such as Apple iPhones and iPads, and Samsung Galaxy SII and Galaxy Tabs
Expect some Best Buy sales in the very near future with the closings coming before the end of the year.