Schulze Returns to Best Buy As Chairman Emeritus

Mar 27, 2013 3:04 PM  By

Best Buy announced this week its founder Richard Schulze will be returning to the company as its Chairman Emeritus, according to a press release on BestBuy.com.   According to the press release, his return comes to support the company’s Renew Blue Transformation efforts.

Schulze was ousted from the company less than a year ago, according to an article on Forbes.com.  Forbes reported that Schulze’s return comes after months of speculation that Schulze would try to buy the company.

Upon his return, Schulze has nominated CEO Brad Anderson in the 2000s and Al Lenzmeir another ex-director to serve on the Best Buy Board of Directors, according to Forbes.

According to Forbes, Best Buy is a struggling giant and its big-box stores have become showrooms for its digital competitors like Amazon and eBay.  Other big retailers like Target and Walmart haven’t been hurt by the transition to ecommerce, but Best Buy stock has sank by 40% in three years.

In February, Best Buy announced its plans to put an end to showrooming in its stores with its low-price guarantee which was set to begin earlier this month, according to an article on MultichannelMerchant.com.  In a press release, the company said it would price match all local retail competitors and 19 major online competitors in all of its product categories.

Best Buy used the strategy during the holiday shopping season. This was during a time when Best Buy’s U.S. same-store sales stopped falling and remained flat, according to an article on Forbes.com. The price-match is aimed at Amazon.com, Walmart.com and Target.com among others.

According to the Best Buy press release, if customers find a lower price on a qualifying product at a local retailer’s store or a designated major online retailer, they will match the price.

The company will match the current pre-tax price for new identical immediately available products from a local retail competitor’s store and several major online retailers.  They will also match products post purchase if they lower their prices within 15 days of the customers purchase.

In December, The Harris Poll reported over 43% of U.S.  adults have showroomed When customers were asked which brick-and-mortar store they most frequently visited to examine a product before making an online purchase, they said Best Buy at 24% and Walmart at 22% are the top victims of this trend.

Online retailer Amazon was most frequented at 57% after visiting the brick-and-mortar store.  Eight percent of Best Buy showroomers go on to purchase from Best Buy online, 71% from Amazon, according to The Harris Poll.