Carphone Warehouse to close all 11 Best Buy shops

Best Buy store in the West Midlands The UK joint venture has failed to make a profit

Carphone Warehouse is to close all of its 11 Best Buy stores across the UK, the company has announced.

The move puts 1,100 jobs at risk at the outlets, which sell electronic goods, but the firm said it hoped to find the "large majority" alternative work.

The 11 Best Buy stores are part of Best Buy Europe, a joint venture between US group Best Buy and Carphone Warehouse.

The first Best Buy store in the UK only opened in April of last year. The outlets have failed to make a profit.

'Economic times'

Best Buy's 11 UK outlets are in Liverpool, Derby, Bristol, Nottingham, Rotherham, Dudley, Thurrock, Southampton, and three places in London - Croydon, Hayes and Enfield.

Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy initially planned to open 200 Best Buy stores across the UK and continental Europe.

Best Buy Europe was formed in 2008 when Best Buy paid £1.1bn to buy a 50% stake in Carphone Warehouse's retail division.

Carphone Warehouse said the focus would now be on selling more electronics goods from Best Buy Europe's 805 Carphone Warehouse stores in the UK, and 1,648 Phone House shops in continental Europe.

Best Buy Europe said in a statement: "Since 2008, the consumer electronics marketplace has changed substantially as a result of the economic times, the progress of online retailing and the growth of new products such as smartphones, tablets and apps."

It comes as Best Buy plans to buy its British partner out of a separate and fast-growing US mobile phone joint venture for £865m.

The Best Buy Mobile venture has been benefiting from soaring demand for smartphones, such as Apple's iPhone.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 40.

    I have been to the Best Buy in Lakeside and found the store overpriced compared to nearby retailers and the staff lacking in basic customer service skills and product knowledge.

    Sad that another retailer is going and that staff will lose employment but in 2011 you have to be at the top of your game.

    Best Buy just wasnt

  • rate this

    Comment number 39.

    I bought a washing machine from their web site less than two weeks ago. I couldn't fault their service, the delivery was quick and free (and I'm 200 miles from the nearest store) and their carrier excellent, calling both two days before and an hour before delivery.

    Best of all their price was 20% less than any other website or shop.

    I guess that's the real reason they were making a loss!

  • rate this

    Comment number 38.

    will besy buy now buy carphone warehouse and dixions retail to return the uk

  • rate this

    Comment number 37.

    re: #1: Americans found it weird to have to wait for your receipt to be stamped at the door too. I mean yes in Brooklyn liquor store employees and stock are behind bullet-proof glass, but most stores in the USA don't search your bag unless you're 15 and shifty. Best Buy was cheap and well-enough stocked to drive Circuit City, CompUSA and others out of business--surprised they didn't do that here.

  • rate this

    Comment number 36.

    Did my homework prior to buying a big ticket item - Best Buy cheapest on web, but mysteriously 'out of stock' when I tried to click and reserve at all UK Best Buys. Visited my local Best Buy, there was the 'out of stock' item, but over £100 dearer! Crass attempt at bait-and-switch, without the switch?

    Bizarrely I had to persuade them to match their own price, hence a customer despite themselves.

  • rate this

    Comment number 35.

    Most likely the result of an over-saturated marketplace in an area of diminishing spending. I had never heard of this business before but given the number of other providers out there doing the same thing and with diminishing consumer spending, something has to give.
    I think we will see significantly more of the same in January post the Christmas spending 'boom' when confidence really falls.

  • rate this

    Comment number 34.

    Half the problem was that hardly anyone even knew Best Buy existed in the UK. I didn't really see any major ad campaigns or anything .... no wonder it's failed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 33.

    From all the comments on this topic looks like a

    Best Bye

  • rate this

    Comment number 32.

    Having had 20 odd years in the IT sector, I am always disappointed at the lack of knowledge in these so-called electrical stores. I routinely come across staff not knowing the products they are recommending and selling. Usually the three big names are to fault. The margins on electrical products are high so not sure why they cannot train the staff to a resonable level

  • rate this

    Comment number 31.

    I was really dissapointed with Best Buy. Staff were zombies with just enough knowledge to help a techno illitirate, could not answer basic questions above "where is the power button". The prices were more expensive then PC world and Sainsbury's on the same retail wonder it is failing. Not the "best buy" I was expecting from my American connections. I'll stick with John Lewis.

  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    Every time I went to their website, all they seemed to do was point me at some other retailer's website. I'm not really sure what the point of Best Buy UK was.

  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    Could we please apply spell-check or get a correspondent with English GCSE?
    "Seperate" (4 lines from bottom). Doh!

  • rate this

    Comment number 28.

    No surprise there will be many more retail shops closeing as money gets tighter.The amount of hard fast cuts by this government will see alot more people out of jobs.

  • rate this

    Comment number 27.

    We;ve bought a couple of things at Best Buy - and they were cheaper here than anywhere else!

  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    These days, if you go to a "real" shop you want to interact directly with the products; if you can't do that you may as well be buying at lower prices online. Thus Best Buy's business model was doomed from the start - plus of course the brand isn't that well known here and the marketing and store signage didn't work. Presumably they were relying too much on overspill brand awareness from overseas.

  • rate this

    Comment number 25.

    I've been to Best Buy in the US ( huge places, like an Aladdin's Cave of electrical goods ) but I did not even know they had stores in the UK.

    So if I did not know they existed they've not done a very good job of advertising themselves, maybe that's why the few that there are are closing ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 24.

    Totally agree with post #6 re comments on post #4

    RJ__02 = selfish little computer game nerd who needs to get out into the real world.

  • rate this

    Comment number 23.

    Called in to the Derby store shortly after it opened. Prices on some items twice internet prices. Bought a pack of DVDs, had to pass firstly through the checkout, then another desk to have my receipt stamped and finally a third desk where I was stopped and searched. What a bunch of jobsworths. Good riddance 'Best Buy', you will not be missed

  • rate this

    Comment number 22.

    Used Best Buy in the US, a well known store sells a wide range of electrical and elctronic kit at good prices. Didn't even know there was a UK version until I found one by accident earlier in the year. Apart from phones there was little choice of anything, all at the same sort of prices as high street retail stores. This was nothing like the US "Best Buy" - what did they expect?

  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    Bought Blu-Ray player for £15 cheaper than the other retailers. I got it home and around 1 hour of viewing the picture pixel issues with all discs. Returned & they plugged it in and said no issues after 2 mins. Would only give me a replacement and because they didn't find an issue they charged £15 to rebox the other player! Didn't go back and put replacement on eBay as confidence gone with item.


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