Best Buy announced on Tuesday that Brian Dunn (their CEO) is stepping down.Mr. Dunn has been a 28 year veteran of Best Buy and this post by CNN Money from earlier today writes, “Best Buy is hoping to regain its competitive edge by expanding in China, shrinking the size of its stores and focusing more on digital sales as consumers move online.”
Brian Dunn is not the only CEO in the news this week; AVON just took on Sherilyn McCoy from Johnson & Johnson and of course Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson shared a rough sketch of how he is going to get his company out of the hole.
The question is what do all these HUGE Fortune 500 companies have to do with Main Street? Personally, I think every company big or small, virtual or brick and mortar has a lot to learn from these three powerful changes.
1) It’s not the economy – it’s you.
Sure, the economy is bad but that doesn’t mean it is time to roll over and play dead. The worst thing you can do right now is stay the course. If it’s not working, fix it. If you aren’t selling, repackage, redesign, try something new. You want to know the big ticket company splashing the news this week? It’s Instagram, a 2 year old idea that launched at the same time as Content Equals Money, in October of 2010. And Facebook just bought them for $1 billion dollars. That’s billion with a “b.”
2) You aren’t smarter than your customers
Best Buy needs to focus on their online presence and Avon needs to fix their bad reputation with the SEC. In this modern age you can’t be investigated for bribery or assume that your customers will love you enough to drive across town. The world is tiny, and your customers are smarter than you think.
3) Competition is fierce
The good and the bad part about the internet is that you can access potential clients from around the world, and so can your competitors. In the 1950s and 60s the AVON lady was something to be excited about. Nowadays I don’t want to have to go through a middleman (or woman) to get my lipstick. Don’t feel bad, even web giant Yahoo! has been blindsided by Google and Facebook.
So the question remains, will Main Street still be able to carve out a living in 20 years? To think that a huge company like Best Buy is going to be closing 50 big box US stores by 2013 doesn’t bode well for small business. Especially those that haven’t made the switch to online commerce
What do you think? Will the brick and mortar stores last or will they go the way of the nostalgic AVON lady?
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