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Focus on people, both your staff and customers

Posted on in Business News , Cycles News

invest in employees

The high street is not failing. It is thriving and moulding.

Yes, stores have closed but in their place remains successful, innovative and driven businesses that are able to adapt and reinvent themselves to the 2019 consumer.

Take the US retailer Best Buy for instance.

In 2012, the CEO had just resigned for an inappropriate relationship, employee engagement was at an all-time low and customers were turning to Amazon for the same products at a cheaper price.

In short, Best Buy was on the brink of dying.

In 2019, Best Buy is blossoming and thriving within the retail market space.


Hubert Joly came on in 2012 as Best Buy's chief executive with one aim to give the company a fight chance of surviving, to tap into his people. Joly spent the first month on the job visiting and working within the Best Buy stores, giving him the chance to meet and work directly with the employees.

From the feedback that he received, Joly:

  • Fixed the broken systems within Best Buy, including the internal search engine that gave bad data about what products were in stock
  • Restored a beloved employee discount program
  • Invested heavily in regular employee training


Joly took Best Buy's obvious weakness and made it a strength.

Joly introduced a price matching system, a bold move criticized by many, to tackle ‘showrooming'. In taking advantage of the fact that customers like looking at the products before they buy, Joly made deals with companies like Apple and Samsung to feature their products opening up a new revenue stream for Best Buy. Alongside the focus and time that Joly put into in-store purchases, Joly created an avenue in which customers could order products online and either have them delivered or pick them up in-store.

Build relationships

Best Buy has always had one major advantage over online retailers: they have the ability to connect with customers. The Geek Squad, a group of specialist trained tech support experts, was one area of Best Buy that remained popular even in the fall down. Joly took this success one step further by starting an In-Home Advisor program, sending consultants to the privacy of customers own homes to offer advice and assist in any of the customers' needs.

This enabled Best Buy to build long-term relationships with customers.

Now 78% of employees would recommend working at Best Buy and Joly has a 92% employee approval rate.

Read the full Best Buy case study here

Today, it is not about sales but about staying relevant. The customer sits at the epicentre of the retail market space and as the customer becomes more complex and diverse as an audience, businesses need to move into those spaces that match with the 2019 customer.

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