Best Buy Shuts Down UK Big Box Stores

Brad Chacos

Best Buy may be the big box electronics retailer of choice in the US, but it hasn’t been quite as successful on the other side of the pond – at least not as Americans know it. In fact, Best Buy Europe is built primarily around “small box” phone-based technology stores and only launched its familiar big box-format UK flagship stores in April 2010. They should’ve stuck to what they knew; today, Best Buy announced that was closing all 11 of the big-box stores it opened in the UK in order to focus on the small picture.

The company hopes to shift the 1,100 workers affected by the change into the small box stores, a Best Buy spokesman told ZDNet . Best Buy Europe is a 50/50 joint venture between Best Buy and Carphone Warehouse and is the number-one mobile phone retailer in Europe thanks to its 2,500 “Carphone Warehouse” and “Phone House” small box stores. With the closure of the big box stores, Best Buy Europe plans on expanding the capabilities of the small box stores and convert them into their “Wireless World” format, which focuses on all aspects of mobile technology – such as tablets – rather than phones alone.

Meanwhile, back in North America, Best Buy bought out Carphone Warehouse’s 50 percent share in the Best Buy Mobile brand. It sure is complicated jig those multinational corporations dance!

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