The bad news keeps snowballing for Best Buy. Late last month, the struggling retail giant announced that it would layoff about 2,400 employees, including about 650 Geek Squad employees — a small percentage of the overall Geek Squad staff, but a bad sign nonetheless.
We’ve previously covered how Geek Squad, Best Buy’s customer service division that sends employees to customers’ homes to install and fix refrigerators, TVs, and other devices purchased in-store, could be the company’s saving grace as face-to-face customer service is one thing Internet rivals like Amazon can’t provide. However it seems the company instead thinks Geek Squad alone can’t plug its growing holes.
Best Buy has lost several senior leaders, including Richard Schulze, Best Buy’s original founder, who resigned suddenly in June, and Robert Stevens, who founded Geek Squad and sold the company to Best Buy more than 10 years ago, who left the company in March.
Best Buy employees nationwide have apparently seen the writing on the wall and are reportedly flocking to LinkedIn in droves — not a good sign. According to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, more than 1,800 Best Buy employees have created LinkedIn accounts during the previous three months. Some resumes are definitely being polished. The company says it is in the midst of a restructuring, with a growing emphasis on “mobile” stores and in-store support (rather than in-home).
The layoffs come after interim CEO Mike Mikan emphasized the importance of Geek Squad’s service to the Best Buy’s long-term health. Now, it seems service may be too little, too late to save the once-formidable retailer.