Bumbling Best Buy Getting Apple Makeover
Gadgets chain tests human focus
By Tim Karan, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2012 9:44 AM CDT
Updated Jul 8, 2012 7:00 PM CDT
Shoppers look at televisions displayed at a Best Buy store after a midnight opening on Friday, Nov. 25, 2011, in Brentwood, Tenn.   (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

(Newser) – Struggling big box electronics giant Best Buy is taking a page from Apple's svelte playbook and testing a new strategy to turn its warehouse-like stores into more streamlined and intimate retail outlets, says the Wall Street Journal. A test store in Minnesota prominently features a Geek Squad-staffed Solution Central, much like a Genius Bar at Apple's stores.

Best Buy says the prototype puts fewer products on display and prompts a more personalized shopping experience with trained experts. The main goal is to cut down on "showrooming," where customers visit the store to get a look at gadgets they later buy online—namely at arch-rival Amazon. Best Buy's stock has dropped 33% in the past two years, and although a more knowledgeable staff would likely cost more to employ, the president of US operations says, "We don't see these as costs but investments that will lead to higher sales in less square footage." Click for Slate's take on why Best Buy might be onto something.

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Jul 14, 2012 12:06 AM CDT
I love Best Buy, my dad loved Sears Roebuck and mom love Montgomery Wards, don't get me started on my sister. Times change faster now than they ever did and I think that is a good thing. (Just think where we would be if we didn't waste so much time on racism, sexism, womens rights,homophobeia) Where was I? Oh ya I love Best Buy
Jul 8, 2012 9:39 PM CDT
It's always amazing to watch something go from totally hot to a downward spiral. It happens over and over and over in our society. I give Facebook five years.
Jul 8, 2012 9:37 PM CDT
Welcome to the 21st Century- Internet shopping growth will obsolete brick & mortar stores because NO ONE likes paying SALES TAX and can get deals on line not available in stores. S&H is somewhat figured into the BIG BOX stores anyway so that's not an issue. Bible verse Rev.Ch13vs16 has it that in the future all commerce will require an image on right hand or forehead Take a look at your Drivrs License- Has your state switched to FULL FACE photo yet? Across your forehead is an IMAGE (magnetic strip on backside)- most use RIGHT HAND to operate a mouse to place orders online- FUTURE is upon us already, precisely AS Prophesized in bible verse (just ONE instance among others)