UK electronics retailer Carphone Warehouse is pulling the plug on its 11 Best Buy stores in the UK to concentrate on its own stores. The Best Buy UK joint venture with the US-based retail giant has a few “big box” (e.g. TVs, washing machines etc) stores across the south east and Midlands, aimed at hitting the electronics market with cheaper prices. It made a loss of £62m in its first year in the UK and analysts expect it to report a loss of £35m in the first half of 2011.
But people just aren’t buying in the recession. Interestingly the company said the growth of smartphones and tablet computers has affected sales – I guess people are starting to get more into the capability of these devices than the ‘idiot box.’ Carphone Warehouse has been focussing on selling more electronics such as tablet computers and smartphones at its 805 stores in the UK.
Best Buy US invested £1.1bn in Carphone during 2008 as the first step to a European rollout.