Why the Truth on Best Buy’s Giant TV Wall is on the Giant Wall

Time for change.

In a sea of change on the Best Buy sales floor in the past year, one thing has remained a constant: the giant wall of TVs running along the back of the store.  Ever notice when walking into a Best Buy your eyes are hit with bright, moving images on some of the company’s largest, priciest screen sizes?  Yeah, it’s by design (I call it eye candy).  The giant TV wall at Best Buy used to be an attraction for families prior to the inclination to shop on mobile devices for everything.  After years of plunking down big bucks to purchase TVs from the dilapidated displays at Sears, Circuit City, local electronics players, and even department stores, consumers were wowed by the glowing images neatly stacked on top of each other.

TVs are one of Best Buy’s most significant revenue producers, lumped into a consumer electronics segment that comprised 30% and 28% of domestic and international division sales in 2013, respectively.  The last two years have been brutal for TV sales; weak shipments and product price plunges amid market maturity and a yawning by consumers to internet-connected TVs.  For Best Buy, it has generated over three years of negative same-store sales, domestically and internationally, from its consumer electronics segment.  In 2014, the situation in the TV industry is projected to improve ever so slightly, owing to falling prices on Ultra-HD and 4K screens.

However, Best Buy’s trouble selling TVs can’t all be blamed on global market maturity, there is a self-inflicted aspect that believe it or not, begins with the former attraction known as the giant TV wall.  By studying how people interact with the giant TV wall and trying to get inside their heads myself recently, it has become apparent that Best Buy is losing business in this category altogether or pushing them to BestBuy.com, where a person is less likely to purchase all of the bells and whistles on a new set.  Blame: increasing wall complexity and weak customer service (on frequent occasions, have observed customers just staring at the giant TV wall, receiving no approach by an associate, and then leaving.

It may be time for Best Buy to scrap its famed giant TV wall , replacing the space with eye-catching fixtures that are able to be seen upon store entry and which lure customers into vendor-employed shops that could clearly explain pricing, warranties, and in-home installation.  Ideally, these changes should occur prior to the looming next product cycle.

But don’t take my word for it on this wall complexity issue, view it for yourself.  As you are scrolling down the pictures below, how do you feel?  Overwhelmed? “I would rather buy it online?”  “What are all those signs, Amazon doesn’t have that.”

Welcome to the Best Buy Giant TV Wall

Decoding the thoughts of the consumer…

  • Does Best Buy Rewards Zone cost me money?
  • Best Buy used to be showing programs on the TV wall, with sound, to get me excited.
  • I need a bundle pack for the TV to work?  If I buy it online I could sidestep that inevitable, uncomfortable in-store up-sell.

bby 8

  • Wait, my TV is an open box with potential defects?
  • What are the yellow options stickers with additional prices?

bby 7

  • Why are there holes on the wall?  Could I buy a floor sample?  If I can’t, I am going home, will wait for a lower price.

BBY 6

  • Five Best Buy related signs plus a Samsung diagram below.
  • Spotted: two identical credit card offer signs that add to the visual clutter.

bby 5

  • How many signs do you count?

BBY 3

  • Probably one of the better displays.  One TV, three Best Buy signs horizontally placed, a spec overview diagram underneath.

BBY 1

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