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Dr. Gary Hunter

Best Buy Case Study

Best Buy's Marketing Dilemma

Best Buy represents the world's largest multi-channel consumer electronics retailer, with stores in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.  Best Buy's Investor relations website offers the most recent information related to the company's performance (see


The Problem

Best Buy, like most traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, has struggled in recent years in large part due to the growing practice of "showrooming." Quint et al. (2013, p. 1) define showrooming as, "...visited a store and saw a product we liked, but then purchased it online instead of from the store."



However, the problem appears to persist today as demonstrated in this CNN Money report dated October 21. 2014 (see the video above).

This case is generally designed to evaluate Best Buy’s strategic marketing response to the emergent problem of “showrooming,” which was instituted in 2012. This story of Best Buy’s strategic response is largely told through a series of videos featuring Mr. Matt Smith, former Vice president of CRM at Best Buy. First, we consider Best Buy’s marketing situation in 2012 based on an internal stakeholder performance presentation. Second, we more clearly consider the specifics associated with the “showrooming” phenomenon. Third, students are introduced to Best Buy’s strategic marketing response. This plan is titled “Renew Blue,” and represents Best Buy’s current overall marketing strategy (2014). Fourth, explore how the Millennial generation is viewed from a retail consumer marketing perspective. Fifth, we contemplate the growing role of data analytics generally, and at Best Buy specifically. Finally, we consider Best Buy’s International strategy.


We begin this exploration with a quick overview of Best Buy as told by Mr. Matt Smith (see the video below).

The next section explores in greater detail the "problem" of showrooming.

  Student Problem:
  1. Please carefully consider the information provided by Best Buy's Investor Relations site and Mr. Smith's discussion. Please describe the most important take-aways from your analysis of this information.

Please note that we are not asking for a formal argument (conclusion, premises, evidence).  Rather, we are asking you to describe your general understanding of Best Buy's marketing dilemma. Please structure your response using bullet points supported by your thoughts and evidence. You must also inform the reader WHY these observations are most important (e.g., most closely related to marketing "success"). Structure still counts in presentation.

2017-06-13T15:03:22.887-05:00 2017