Best Buy Earnings Still Falling

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 16: A person walks up to a shuttered Best Buy Store on April 16, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois.

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Best Buy’s shares got a bounce this morning because profits came in “above expectations” but the numbers they released today still show falling earnings and reduced same-store sales even as the number of stores outstanding continues to fall.

Broadly speaking, this is all part of the large End of Retail trend. But I particularly endorse Farhad Manjoo’s insight that Best Buy’s give ‘em the broadest possible selection approach to retailing is badly unsuited to the e-commerce age. The Internet is happy to give you all the options you want in terms of gadgets. A physical retailer could still add value by reducing search costs and offering friendly staff, but that implies slimming down the range of products and not just the number of stores.