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Can Electronics Stores Survive ?

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#1 Hum

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 12:56

Not long ago, retailers such as Best Buy Co. (BBY), GameStop Corp. (GME) and RadioShack Corp. (RSH) were outmuscling competitors across America by offering one-stop shopping for the latest televisions, computers, videogames and gadgets.

Now all three are fighting to survive. The rise of online competitors like Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) that offer low prices and downloadable products have siphoned customers and sales from these once-powerful retailers.

The retail chains are responding with turnaround strategies that highlight their abilities to obtain hot new smartphones and tablets, and are trying to capture those purchases that consumers still prefer to make in person.

But they concede they have to evolve fast. "There is a future for consumer electronics in retail," insists GameStop's chief executive, Paul Raines. "But in order to survive, our internal rate of change has to be greater than the external rate of change."

Best Buy recently reported profit fell 91% last quarter on the eighth sales decline in nine quarters at stores open at least 14 months. Its founder is trying to take it private.

RadioShack suspended its dividend last month after posting its largest quarterly loss since 1996. GameStop's profit fell 33% last quarter due to declining sales of game discs and consoles.

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#2 n_K

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 13:03

Same as in the UK, I'm surprised maplins is still going.
Don't get me wrong, if I want components to build something pretty fast then I'll use them despite that I can get everything so much cheaper on ebay or rapid electronics but waiting a few days is just annoying.
But every time I go in there I feel hounded by their staff 'Can I help you?' 'No thanks', 'Would you like some vouchers sent to you in the post with your purchase?' 'No', 'Would you like to include 4 AA batteries with your purchase for just £1.50?' 'NO!', 'How about a current edition of the maplins catelogue for just £2.99?' 'no.'. It's very annoying.

#3 The_Decimator

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 13:10

I still want good ol', not-owned-by-Gamestop, EB Games back...

#4 sagum

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 13:11

Interesting article.

that offer low prices and downloadable products have siphoned customers and sales from these once-powerful retailers


One thing I hate is when they play the blame game. Fact is, they over charged in the first place and didn't move with the times quick enough. Its thair own fault for having higher prices then online services. They both get the goods from the same sources, sure they might have a slighly more over head for local store staffing and rent but thats mittagated by the online stores warehouse, staff etc.

The fact that they even say downloadable products are an issue is a joke in itself, and I rate it up there with the same that blame piracy.
Fact is, these shops are buying used games and re-selling them for pure profit. Zero of that goes back to the publishers or developer and they wonder why they don't get bigger discounts from them...
not only that, but they down right rip customers off with the prices as well for physical online sales of the same product in store so its not just downloadable products. Its an excuse, a lame excuse.

As much as I hate shopping, I do actually prefer to visit instore, talk to staff about the products I'm about to buy, see them and if I can hold, and have a hands on experiance. Instead we get stores that pretty much lie to us with stupid gimmicks and bad wording to favour a certain product, ie expensive TVs. Staff are not being properly trained and talk bull**** about something they clearly have no clue about. Its a real shame they've not embraced what a brick store has over online stores.

#5 1941

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 13:19

Radioshack might.

#6 togermano

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 13:32

I recently had to go to radioshack to replace resisitor/capacitor there staff was competely dumb when it came to this stuff.... But they know how to sell a cellphone....The only thing they got going for it is that I dont have to wait for shipping if they have an item in stock otherwise online has better quallity parts and prices

#7 wv@gt

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 13:33

Best buy is probably the only electronics store I still go to. RadioShack sometimes, but I go there looking for electrical components. Though with RadioShack their prices can be much higher for a cheap part compared to other websites like Mouser.

#8 The Laughing Man

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 13:34

I still want good ol', not-owned-by-Gamestop, EB Games back...

I want Funcoland back.

#9 Osiris

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 13:40

The reaping is coming for bricks and mortar stores.

#10 exotoxic

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 14:04

Same as in the UK, I'm surprised maplins is still going.
Don't get me wrong, if I want components to build something pretty fast then I'll use them despite that I can get everything so much cheaper on ebay or rapid electronics but waiting a few days is just annoying.
But every time I go in there I feel hounded by their staff 'Can I help you?' 'No thanks', 'Would you like some vouchers sent to you in the post with your purchase?' 'No', 'Would you like to include 4 AA batteries with your purchase for just £1.50?' 'NO!', 'How about a current edition of the maplins catelogue for just £2.99?' 'no.'. It's very annoying.


I like maplins, never been "hounded" by staff and the one i go to has a few people at the electronics counter that know what they are talking about (Y) but they are quite expensive compared to online.

One time we accidentally stole a catalog, they were by the door, not till we got home did we see it has a price on it :rofl:

#11 +jamesyfx

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 14:17

Same as in the UK, I'm surprised maplins is still going.
Don't get me wrong, if I want components to build something pretty fast then I'll use them despite that I can get everything so much cheaper on ebay or rapid electronics but waiting a few days is just annoying.
But every time I go in there I feel hounded by their staff 'Can I help you?' 'No thanks', 'Would you like some vouchers sent to you in the post with your purchase?' 'No', 'Would you like to include 4 AA batteries with your purchase for just £1.50?' 'NO!', 'How about a current edition of the maplins catelogue for just £2.99?' 'no.'. It's very annoying.


The staff have to say those things because that's what most customers expect, as it's part of the mystery shopper guideline. If you don't like talking to people in stores, then just buy online.

#12 1941

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 14:27

I recently had to go to radioshack to replace resisitor/capacitor there staff was competely dumb when it came to this stuff.... But they know how to sell a cellphone....The only thing they got going for it is that I dont have to wait for shipping if they have an item in stock otherwise online has better quallity parts and prices


Most customers that are purchasing Caps/resistors and such don't need help from a Radio Shack clerk. We used to have a real electronic store here but they went out of business. All the parts I need I get online.

#13 n_K

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 15:12

The staff have to say those things because that's what most customers expect, as it's part of the mystery shopper guideline. If you don't like talking to people in stores, then just buy online.

As I said I only use them if there's something I want fast, and it's honestly part of their mystery shopper criteria? What a job that must be, hearing the same long-winded rubbish all day long =/.
I dare say it's even worse working for maplin, none of them seem to happy with their jobs and I'd probably say having to remember/recite all that stuff is the biggest reason why.

#14 siah1214

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 15:27

The staff have to say those things because that's what most customers expect, as it's part of the mystery shopper guideline. If you don't like talking to people in stores, then just buy online.

This. And you know what, for every customer that doesn't want help, there's 5 or 6 customers that would chew you out and demand to speak to your manager for NOT asking them those questions. Working in retail blows.

#15 sagum

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 15:30

As I said I only use them if there's something I want fast, and it's honestly part of their mystery shopper criteria? What a job that must be, hearing the same long-winded rubbish all day long =/.
I dare say it's even worse working for maplin, none of them seem to happy with their jobs and I'd probably say having to remember/recite all that stuff is the biggest reason why.



No, it’s not part of the mystery shopper criteria. Hehe. Store policy maybe, but mystery shoppers have a task to do. They report back on what happened in detail for the company to read.

So if I was a mystery shopper, the task would be set for me. Go to Maplin's store and buy a 4 pack of Maplin AA rechargeable batteries, no. 392432 (or whatever it is). This is the shopping part and you normally need to keep hold of the receipt for a reimbursement and proof you went into the store. Along with that, you may have additional tasks you need to complete while in the store, such as ask about a certain product or pay special interest to something, such as if the staff greeted you or if they asked you if you needed rechargeable batteries and maybe if they were for a digital camera or not Etc.

Later, you'd write up a report of the experience of shopping there, including all details about it, including things like if the staff were helpful (or not), if you felt under pressure due to all the sales tactics, or maybe there was stuff left out on the floor or the staff didn't know what they were on about when you asked about the types of LEDs they sold. Hand it in with the receipt and you get paid and Maplin gets a report from a shoppers point of view of that store.