back to article Best Buy to shutter all UK megastores

Best Buy's big box experiment in Europe is over: the US retailer is set to close its megastores and retreat into Carphone Warehouse (CPW) shops. In a joint venture with CPW launched last year, Best Buy opened 11 giant outlets in the UK, employing some 1,100 staff, all of which will be shuttered. The battered retail sector …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I get an 8% discount at DSG stores and it still pains me to go into them to buy something.

    It's a shame really that this is happening.

    One has to wonder however, DSG once kept Currys and PCWorld as seperate highstreet shops so they could claim that they were not a "Monopoly"... When BestBuy moved in they merged all of the locations that I know about, so will this put them in the hot seat now?..

    Or will those 22 odd DSG brands still be enough to "Compete" against each other?

    1. Annihilator

      "I get an 8% discount at DSG stores"

      So still being ripped off then... :-)

      Fingers crossed for a fire-sale at BB anyway. In their defence, the one I've been into (Bristol) was the nicest laid out tech shop I'd seen in a long time. Certainly beat DSG stores in terms of on-shelf demos.

      1. br0die

        It is a nice store, and the staff are helpful (certainly more so than the PC World further over in Cribbs) but neither of those things really matter to me much. I was excited at the aspect of Best Buy in the UK since, having lived in the US, I thought it would provide an alternative to PC World (store) and Ebuyer (online ordering), in other words, the low cost of ebuyer without having to use mailorder. But I was wrong. Everything in Best Buy costs the same as everywhere else, and the selection is the same as in PC World. So, Best Buy does not really provide anything different (except maybe a more helpful staff to customers who aren't technical). I can see why this venture went sour.

      2. Robert Harrison

        Agreed, the one at the Merry Hill complex in the Midlands was always good to browse through. Staff were even generally helpful *horror*

    2. David Evans

      I don't think DSG will be too concerned about MMC attention these days, it would probably be a nice problem to have. Its becoming increasingly obvious the days of the physical specialist electrical store are coming to an end; Best Buy gone, Comet can't sell itself and DSG a shadow of its former self. With music, books and games stores not far behind, what the hell is bloke supposed to do on a Saturday when he's dragged out shopping with the missus?

      1. Atonnis

        UK stores reap what they sow...

        Shops in the UK for years (if not decades now) have had a constant history of unhelpful or unknowledgeable staff, who care little beyond what level of insurance or 'extended warranty' they can sell you.

        Now the UK retail sector is reaping what it sowed. People don't want to go to a store and have some snot who thinks he knows it all, because he followed the detailed instructions at home on how to install someone else's custom-built ROM on his Android phone, trying to condescendingly tell them what little they know about the products....or even worse are the over-suited slicksters (mostly from the Asian continent, if truth be told) who are all cocky and think they're so amazing that no-one could possibly argue with them.

        Poor customer service, high prices, and shitty attitudes have made it easier and easier for people to just go online and buy the products for a cheaper price and even pay the exhorbitant delivery fees - just so they don't have to go to the effort of making their way down to a shop just to be talked-down-to.

        This is a general statement, not just about BB.

      2. Armando 123

        "what the hell is bloke supposed to do on a Saturday when he's dragged out shopping with the missus?"

        The pub or a car dealership. I'll drone on and on and on about cars until my wife relents.

      3. Dan 10

        David Evans for PM!

        "what the hell is bloke supposed to do on a Saturday when he's dragged out shopping with the missus?"

        Nail. Head. Bang.

        It does my head in that there are never bike shops in the big retail areas - instead walk around yet a-fucking-nother department store...

  2. hammarbtyp

    Its a pity...

    Its a pity because the UK electronics sector is pretty appalling with Currys/Dixons and Comet. A decent bit of competition should of worked wonders.

    However you have to question the wisdom of coming in with Carphone warehouse. rather than setting up by themselves. Also there marketing has bee atrocious. Until I read the article I wasn't aware there were a best buy anywhere near where I live(East Mids). I had assumed they were all in London

  3. Scott Mckenzie


    It was actually refreshing to go into a tech store and speak to someone who actually had a clue.

    They will be missed.

    That said, i'm looking forward to a pre christmas stock fire sale!!

  4. Jay 2

    Pity. Only been in one, but it had loads of kit to play with in there. Though to be honest I don't think I would have ever purchased anything from there!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No great loss... never seen one

    Still, I bet their management will still take home fat bonuses.

  6. Nigel 11

    Who buys on the high street?

    Surely it's a no-brainer to buy electronic gadgetry, and even white goods, from an internet retailer wo can offer better prices because he has no expensive high street or retail park premises to rent?

    As far as I am concerned PC World is for distress purchases ... something I need immediately not a few days hence. Also PC World is quite smart - you can go online, reserve it at PCW internet prices, and collect it from the store. PCW internet prices aren't always very competitive, but they are often a lot less than the standard in-store price!

    The internet is killing the high street, at least with respect to things that one doesn't want to touch or try on before purchasing, and doesn't need in a hurry.

    1. Sargs

      Reserve Online?

      From repeated personal experience (for some reason, the boss insists on buying "impulse buys" from PC world), what happens when you reserve stuff online is that they give you a reservation code, the boss goes to collect it, they say they can't find it in the back and then sell him the wrong thing for twice the price. He then gets angry and takes it out on us because it's our fault he had to have it *now* and it's our fault PC World are just over the road.

  7. Tom Wood

    Not sure why you would buy electricals from any big box store

    Internet prices are much more competitive and with better service...I recently ordered a fridge/freezer from the cheapest place I could find on the internet which turned out to be a really efficient large independent high street store in Birmingham which had moved with the times and invested in their own national delivery service. Ordered on a Sunday, delivered on the Tuesday evening. If you need something fairly ordinary (say a vacuum cleaner, toaster, iron, printer etc) "now" then Tesco, Asda and Argos offer cheaper prices and a wider selection than Currys/Comet or Best Buy. If you want top class service with bricks and mortar and are prepared to pay for it then you go to John Lewis. It's no wonder these big box businesses are struggling.

    1. Enrico Vanni

      I recently bought a new fridge freezer from what I though at the time was an Internet only operation because (a) they were by far and away the cheapest for that model and (b) I'd never heard of them.

      It was 'Best Buy' and I never gave it another thought until this news broke today....

    2. Rob Beard

      Sadly I've had a bad experience buying a cooker from an online company a couple of years ago. Sure it was the cheapest price I found on the net but it took about 3 months for the damn thing to arrive!

      I've now come to the conclusion that buying things like that (which cost over 500 quid) are probably best done on the credit card.

      It's a shame about Best Buy, I read that they had some pretty good deals, but sadly couldn't be arsed to open a store south of Bristol (so any savings made would be spent on fuel/travelling time).


      1. Andy Barringer

        Just to let you know, Best Buy did open a store south of Bristol, they have a store at Hedge End near Southampton.

  8. JDubya

    A shame

    Big outlets cant compete with the internet on price or choice, so need to on expertise. I went to Best Buy in Nottingham for the first time to look at some speakers. To my amazement they had a dedicated listening room, lots of equipment on show all wired up with switching boxes. The guy in store was incredibly knowledgeable, talking to me about the bright sound on some KEFs could be tamed by matching with something warm like a Marantz cd player. I dont mind paying a small premium for that expertise. Far better then the Dixon boys reading out the card underneath the item when asked about. "Yeah the Sony 500SE here is like a Special Edition or something " (including upward intonation straight from Ramsay Street).

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      They can't even compete on expertise

      You can download the manuals off the Internet.

      The only way they can help you is allow you to fiddle round with the UI, find out it's god awful, and put you off buying it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Richer Sounds?

      Sounds like Richer Sounds to me. I quite simply despise all these shitty tech stores/shops :) With one exception. Richer Sounds, the staff are (certainly in Prestwich) awesome. They know the products, they are all home/cinema buffs and have a good selection of kit from their own installations. PCWorld/BB should go down the same route. Stop trying to rob people for some bullshit extended warranty, and perhaps, just maybe offer extended service. Talk knowingly about the products, employ people who are interested and keep them interested. Then you can compete with the online stores. If when walking into a PCWorld / BB I could have a "toms hardware" type conversation over gfx cards, or someone who knows the difference between an i3 and i5 or can tell me the best size case and cooler for my gaming rig, they might survive. On top of this they need to have people that can talk to the guys that call in who know nothing, and by a "for dummies" book with that £120 netbook and not make them feel like crap.

      If they can crack this without ripping us off, they will be around for a while yet.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shame Indeed

    One would have thought that Best Buy would shake up the staid and high priced DSG, but beat a hasty retreat. Why couldnt they pile em sell them cheap strategy ? I guess they adopted the same format as PC world and usual lack of training /numpties in store with minimum wages did it for them.(greed played a big part in terms of their pricing strategies).

    Took me once more than an hour returning a faulty Microwave (despite under warranty and agreed exchange over the phone with a replacement ready and waiting for me). No wonder peoples experience usually is as bad as PC world.

    Back to paying £24.99 for a USB cable in PC World.!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SHUT the word is SHUT

    "Shutter" all UK megastores?? For Godsake, please stop using this ludicrous americanism.

    1. Annihilator

      And Best Buy is a company originating from.. where?...

      Besides, to "shutter" something is to bring the shutters down, close the shutters, for a prolonged or permanent time. It's not an Americanism per se.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Never heard of it, in four countries that I have lived and worked in. Just because the firm is USA does not mean we have to talk or write American to discuss it. I take it you switch to Japanese or Chinese quite a lot when talking about technical stuff. I expect your Greek is coming on well, with the recent news being so full of matters Greek.

        If we can not use our own language correctly and confidently, it is a very sad day. If you prefer not to, I am sure the USA would be pleased to have another inhabitant.

        1. Annihilator

          re: ?

          Completely ignoring the fact it's an English word and in the OED I see... Good work, carry on with your indignation.

          The fact *you* have never heard of it does not make it an Americanism. Even if it were, to pull the shutter down on our language (see what I did there?) and never accept any outside influences would be an even sadder day. Perhaps we should be talking and writing only as Shakespeare did, and never change. As for how good my Greek is, an ironic reference, given about 25% of "our" language descends from Greek.

          But don't take my word for it

        2. BristolBachelor Gold badge

          @AC 16:43

          "I take it you switch to Japanese or Chinese quite a lot when talking about technical stuff. "

          Actually I find it midly humerous that when I've been with groups of Japanese people discussing technical things, they say things like: (Appologies to Jasper Carrot)

          Wikki-wikki wikkkki wikki-wikki HARDDISK wikki wikki-wikki TRANSISTOR wikki-wikki wikki....

    2. Jim Morrow

      calling a place where you buy stuff a "store" is an even more ludicrous americanism. the english word is "shop".

      1. Eponymous Bastard


        My late father was a chain store manager in the '50s & 60s in Great Britain, so I don't feel that "store" is really that much of a neologism for us British.

      2. peyton?

        In the US

        The English word for "shop" is "shoppe".

        Actually we have shops as well - shop has a connotation of a smaller place of retail as compared to a "store".

        lol - we definitely have megastores, but I've not heard of a single megashop.

  11. ElNumbre

    Nice but...

    I visited the one at the Merry Hill centre in the summer, and whilst the store dressing was more attractive than even refurbished DSG locations, I wasn't exactly bowled over.

    Its a shame really, I had high hopes for them, but I wasn't sure there was space for two big box retailers in the physical space. Shirley people buy on the Internet now?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PC World vs. Best Buy?

    Talk about a rock and a hard place!

  13. The Jase

    Location, location, location

    Their London store locations were pisspoor.

    They should have had something close to the centre so everyone could get to it. Lewisham, Kilburn, Wandsworth all would have been ok locations.

  14. TS 1


    Obviously its a shame for the workers and hopefully they'll get positions over at CPW but when the first store opened last year I remember people questioning if it was a good move.

    If they'd opened early to mid 2000's they might have had a chance but combine the recession and ever increasing online sales and it was only a matter of time.

    Heck thanks to it's primarily geek consumers will technology will be the first market to go to 100% online sales in the next decade? Seems there's only space for one technology 'retailer of desperation' for those purchases that can't wait a few days for delivery plus selling to non-geeks and DSG have had it tied up for years.

  15. Peter Gordon

    Sad to see them go.

    I hate the DSGi stranglehold on the high street for electronics.

    Good bye Best Buy, and thanks for letting me reserve an HP Touchpad before the price dropped, and pick it up that evening after the drop.

  16. Prof Yaffle

    Not Just Dixons...

    ... you have to remember that the core black/white goods market is everywhere now. So, web stores like Amazon and Lasky's aside, Tesco sells this stuff, Sainsbury's does, every DIY multiple sells some of it, Aldi and Lidl even have a go on a random basis.

    I wanted a DL DVD on the weekend, and went to Tesco first. Mind you, they didn't have any, and Curry's terrified me with a price tag of 23 quid for ten, so I went without... for that premium, I can wait a few days for Amazon to get something in the post, so I have to presume that DSG is pretty much for emergency purchases only.

    1. Eponymous Bastard

      Not Just Dixons...

      I think it's called a "distress purchase"; like having to buy petrol at a motorway service station . . . .

  17. Anonymous John

    When are they closing?

    Will they be selling off tablets cheap?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Chinese should try and get in on the electronics store scene

    As a vast majority of the electronic things we by originate from China anyway, someone from there could cut out the middle man stores like Dixons/Maplin etc. and buy their own premises to sell direct, for cheaper.

    They could call the stores "YOU BUY NOW!"

    Now where did I put my coat...

  19. jolly

    Goodbye to another high price HDMI cable seller

    Bought an HDMI cable from them a few months ago for £10. They sold similar cables "online only" for £2.99. But as I was in a hurry (long story) I had to pay £7 more for the privilege of collecting it myself from their store.

    I guess they were still cheaper than Curry's, etc, for the same cable but I still won't morn the loss of a shop that sells the same thing at two, vastly different, prices.

  20. Richard 41


    Ah well, one chain fewer for the low-life to loot from next time they're bored.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: unexpected?

    "when the first store opened last year I remember people questioning if it was a good move."

    Remember that as well ... basically their problem was that they announced their intentions a year or two before they opened their first store and basically said that all the competitors had tired old stores and they'd cover the full range of items in one store ... which gave DSGi a couple of years to roll out a program of store upgrades, merging Currys and PC World stores (probably taking advantage of available space in out of town centres as other stores had closed). So they then opened a handful of stores where what they claimed would be their USP had been demolished.

    .... of course, DSGi also have Darth Vader to target the deathstar on BB as well!

  22. Tiny Iota

    If CPW are going to reformat their stores, I hope they remember to back-up first.

  23. Anonymous Coward


    And I just yesterday bought a new DSLR from one. All of you complaining about price- it was by far the cheapest option compared to any legit online source I could find (and I don't include grey imports in my definition of "legit" due to warranty issues). Awesome shop, very helpful staff. Thought it was too good to be true. Just hope I don't have any early warranty issues or it's probably a trip to Japan for my nice shiny toy after they close.

  24. alan buxey

    one of the better stores

    this is pretty miserable news - i like Best Buy - they are one of the better tech retail stores

    around and i've had some good purchases from them since they opened their store here in Nottingham.

    now all we've got left is the DSG bunch of overpriced horrendous stores - and random tech stuff in tesco/ASDA/etc etc - horrible.

    I wonder if it would have been better of they actually advertised more...word of mouth seems to have been their main method....and The Gadget Show was still DSG sponsored - that was the sort of spot that BestBuy should have grabbed.

    oh well, online shopping only...along with MMC splitting up of DSG

  25. teapot9999

    Never seen one!

    This is the first I knew that Best Buy had opened in the UK, which could be part of the problem, nobody know!

  26. mraak


    If you want clueless, undereducated staff that can barely speak english, thinking that OS stands for Awesome, if you want to pay 5x of the Amazon prices, then yes, Best Buy will be a success in UK.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who knew !!!

    I also never realised they had opened any stores, I remember it being talked about, never knew it had happened. I guess this was a massive marketing fail, not even seen a TV ad, and I watch a hell of a lot of TV.

    Shame I never even got to check one out.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Oh for goodness sake - that's one way to make sure your brand is downgraded.... partnering with the Poundshop of the telecomms industry.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So Sad

    I was one of the back office team that helped launch the Best Buy brand in the UK (technical side not business). I moved on last year, but I was luckily to work some very capable and dedicated people both sides of the atlantic. There really was a desire to make successful business that would give the public a better electrical shopping experience.

    It probably wasn't the best time to try to create a new business into a market where there were already 2 established players.

  30. Giles Jones Gold badge


    Didn't even know they existed until the TouchPad fiasco. So much for marketing and advertising.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Next step up Amazon...

    It would be like a product exhibition holding no stock where you pay a few quid entry to inspect the products before you buy then buy via amazon and have the entry fee taken off the product price. And haveit shipped to your home.

  32. Eponymous Bastard


    Now if only Fry's would open in the UK. That would be an event and would give all you betrothed somewhere to go and while away the hours on a Saturday morning. Stumbled across the one on the outskirts of Las Vegas a few years back and spent many a happy hour there; and it had a café in the middle of it!

  33. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Bestbuy (USA) ok....

    But partnering with Carphone Whorehouse very very bad.

    Oh dear, how sad, too bad. Even if I'd known they were around the association with said company would be enough to put me off dealing with them.

    Someone in BB USA HQ needs to do their homework.

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