Tim Cook to Best Buy CEO: ‘Beleaguered’ doesn’t have to be forever

“When Hubert Joly was named CEO of Best Buy in the summer of 2012, he knew the magnitude of the challenge that lay ahead of him,” Jen Wieczner reports for Fortune.

“Joly had been hired for his expertise in corporate turnarounds—and his job was to fix Best Buy,” Wieczner reports. “The company’s stock price was plummeting, as competition from Amazon and other e-commerce retailers was increasingly eating into the consumer electronics store’s sales. Some were predicting that Best Buy was doomed to the same fate as its former competitors Circuit City and CompUSA, which had already gone out of business.”

“Within weeks of taking the helm in Sept. 2012, Joly went out to Apple’s Cupertino headquarters to sit down with Cook, who was surprisingly empathetic to Best Buy’s plight,” Wieczner reports. “After all, Apple, led by Steve Jobs, had survived its own dark days back in the 1990s. In an interview with Fortune, Joly recounted the 2012 meeting—and the words of encouragement that Apple’s CEO offered him: Cook ‘was kind enough to say, ‘Years ago, in the media, it was always ‘the beleaguered Apple.’ You’re now ‘the beleaguered Best Buy,’ but there will be a good time after that.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The irony is that Best Buy once treated Apple products as second-class citizens, if they even bothered carrying them at all. Now, without Apple products front and center, they’d be dead already.

Carry Apple products, display them prominently, and do a better job with customer service in-store and online and your beleaguered days magically come to an end.

Did Apple just save Best Buy? – September 2, 2015
Apple Watch primed for mainstream appeal with full-scale Best Buy rollout – August 26, 2015
Best Buy CEO: Apple Watch demand is ‘so strong’ that we’re expanding sales to all 1,050 stores – August 25, 2015
The Apple Watch experience: Greater than the sum of its parts – August 20, 2015
Apple Watch owners vastly prefer Apple Watch to iPhone for Apple Pay – August 18, 2015
Apple stock halts slide as Best Buy begins selling Apple Watch in stores and online – August 7, 2015
Best Buy capitulates, to accept Apple Pay despite CurrentC allegiance – April 27, 2015
Why Walmart, Target, and Best Buy need Apple – December 1, 2014
Best Buy looks to be headed out of business – November 26, 2012
Best Buy founder Schulze abruptly resigns, explores options for sale of his 20% stake – June 7, 2012
Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn call it quits – April 10, 2012
Best Buy posts $1.7b loss, to close 50 U.S. stores, cuts 400 corporate-level jobs – March 29, 2012
Best Buy forces customer to buy service plan to get an iPad 2 out of storage – April 11, 2011


  1. I don’t know if I could have been as kind as Tim Cook in that scenario.

    Sure, Best Buy carries Apple Products. They also manage to botch every single step of the process of selling them, then try to tack on outrageous Geek Squad support after bumbling like a fool about a product they don’t understand.

    The retail approach in Best Buy is almost the polar opposite of Apple. Apple does their best to encourage an almost Family-like approach toward its customers, developing the feeling of an ecosystem surrounding their products.

    Best Buy seems to hire the nearest “bro” with a heart beat.

    I personally have had a BB employee argue with me as I was purchasing an iPad all the way to me putting in my PIN for the purchase, trying to sell me some POS Galaxy Tab.

    If it wasn’t the “last man standing” of the Tech Stores, I wouldn’t spend a dime there. If I wanted to give my money to someone that is visibly high, I would have given it to the poor guy sleeping on the street in front of the store.

    1. I had a similar thing here in the UK in a PC World. The guy just wouldn’t accept that I wanted a Roku over a Chromecast, even after I’d politely told him that I knew what I wanted to buy before I’d set foot in his shop and wasn’t going to change my mind. He kept banging on about the Chromecast being £20 cheaper, as if that made absolutely any difference.

      1. Oh boy, I went into an AT&T store for an iPhone. Salesman was insistent I should get a Samsung. He only shut up when I showed him my mug that was used in a Mac software ad.

    2. Same thing happened to me when I went in to Best Buy to buy a GoPro, after doing all the homework to pick the appropriate model. A guy started badgering me relentlessly to buy a Sony cam instead. He turned out to be a Sony employee, He wouldn’t shut up, so I left the store.

    3. I was at a BB in LA to buy a Windows computer for a specific app. After telling the sales guy that none of the pc’s looked good, he suggested putting parallels of an iMac which is what I did. He seemed very knowledgable and progressive.

  2. It’s not all that easy to find Apple products in my local Best Buy. You have to navigate through the large, center stage “Samsung Experience” store (though this typically isn’t that difficult as it’s usually a ghost town). And then you’ll eventually make it to the computers section which features prominent Microsoft and Windows displays at every turn. The discerning customer will eventually find the Apple products, but it takes some doing.

    1. True cwa.

      Then, add to that the horribly disheveled presentation of their products stuck in a useless demo mode, no internet access, and typically covered in filthy residue from hundreds of people touching it, and you have the tech equivalent of selling a Lambo from a used tire lot…

      It always makes me sad to see the Apple and Apple Accessory section of the store.

  3. Gee, how is it that Apple can open stores with only a few products and be so wildly successful and BestBuy can’t make a go of it with the same products and everybody else’s products too? BestBuy could have been Apple Store if they knew how to give customer service, display products and sell electronics.

  4. BestBuy has improved quite a bit over the past couple of years. I was in our local store recently and was surprised to see how the layout and general quality was so much better. I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt, after all without BestBuy there’s not much else left. And yes, it now seems like a viable source for accessories, etc, for Apple owners.

  5. We have to remember that BB sells all products so they cannot show favoritism and must sell the customer what they want. Plus the manufacturers pay to have their products displayed. I have no first hand knowledge, but I doubt Apple is willing to pay a lot to display their products since they don’t have to. Plus according to the sales people at my local Best Buy they cannot sway anyone to buy Apple products. According to them they only sell people Apple stuff that comes in looking for Apple products. When I bought my wife an iPhone 6 + AT&T was running a special that you got a free Android tablet. I refused and they could not believe I would refuse a free tablet. I assured them I didn’t own anything that ran Android.

  6. Why would I buy at Best Buy when their sales staff think their only job is to up-sell extended warranties and Monster Cables? They have no concept of service or requiring the sales force to be educated on the products they sell. When I recently asked a rep what features makes one product better than another, the moron started frantically reading the printed claims off the boxes, after he informed me that … *one is more expensive than the other*! No f-in kidding, Sherlock. At that dismal level of service the decision to buy is reduced to the lowest price and their return policy.

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