UK braces itself for Best Buy invasion this spring

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Best Buy‘s move to the UK has been known for a little while now, but, to quote Jim Ross, business has just picked up. Other stores in the UK are planning how to best confront the store when it makes its debut this spring. (The first one opens in May.) Luckily for the local guys, Best Buy doesn’t exactly have the best reputation out there. Fair or not, that’s the way things are.

Right, so Best Buy will (at first) open four big stores all over the UK: one in Essex; in Southampton; near Birmingham; and near Liverpool. Finally, Fernando Torres will know what it’s like to have the Geek Squad “optimize” his laptop.

That’s the initial plan. Should the stores end up being a hit, Best Buy would be willing to open more stores in more locations. Imagine: that big yellow logo somewhere on Oxford Street.

Best Buy will try to differentiate itself from other UK stores by focusing on a few things. One, its sales staff won’t work on commission, so that should help eliminate the scourge of the Pushy Employee. Two, Best Buy will offer to set up your purchase (computer, speaker system, etc.) the day you walk out the door. Three, the Geek Squad will be available 24 hours per day.

It’s 3am, and your Internet doesn’t work? Don’t worry, the Geek Squad will plug in the modem that you didn’t notice your cat knocked over.

Best Buy will be going up against the likes of Currys, a local electronics store. In response to the Best Buy invasion, Currys will open 33 brand new “megastores” in the UK. Some of these stores will be as large as a football pitch—that means “soccer field,” my fellow Americans.

Big, yes.

I sorta feel talking about retail and customer service is not exactly my strength—or, really, anyone who knows how to order something from Newegg or Amazon. People like us don’t need the Geek Squad to set up our laptop, or to string speaker across our living room. We can do all of this (and more!) completely on our own, and we enjoy doing so. So the value of all this customer service from the likes of Best Buy (or otherwise for that matter) is sorta lost on us. Best Buy can say, “We’re emphasizing customer service!” and we’re like, “Whatever, dude, you violated my civil rights. I can install Firefox on my own, thank you very much.”

Good luck to all parties involved, though. Nothing wrong with trying to make a few dollars, or quid in this case.

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