What If Radio Shack Becomes Best Buy Mobile?

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So the rumor is out there – Radio Shack could be on the market, and Best Buy’s name has been tossed out as a suitor – we wanted to share our perspective on what it could mean. Best Buy and other retailers are known to be taking learnings from European Retail and applying them in the US. Best Buy’s own acquisition of Carphone Warehouse in the UK in 2008 could serve as a model for a potential acquisition of Radio Shack. While there are approximately 61 Best Buy Mobile stand alone stores in the US today, there are over 6,000 Radio Shack locations when you combine company owned stores, franchies, and wireless kiosks.

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Home Depot Builds Something Too Big To Ignore

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WATCH & LEARN – HOME DEPOT DECLARES BLACK FRIDAY IN APRIL:

The fight for Retail Leverage doesn’t end with brands duking it out in the aisles. Retailers take it outside, fighting their own battles. If you think unemployment, the real estate market, and tight credit has hurt sales for your brand, imagine how that rolls up to create a desperate environment for the retailer. While the home improvement sector in retail is still fragmented, the two resounding leaders are Home Depot and Lowes.

Home Depot, in a bid for some Retail Leverage of its own, and in an effort to drive year over year sales growth, has declared “Black Friday Is Back”, creating their own retail big event.

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Mobile Marketing In Minneapolis And What It Means For Your Brand

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SUMMARY:

TARGET LEVERAGING MOBILE COUPONS
BEST BUY LEVERAGING SALES LEADERSHIP IN SMART PHONES

Finally, here are 3 things brands can do to improve their mobile marketing efforts:

Optimize your brands website for mobile. The goal is to help consumers find info about your products from their mobile phone, without regard for where they actually purchase it.
Improve / increase your presence on your retailers website. If you have a brand showcase on a retailers website, investigate its mobile appearance / functionality.
Optimize search on the retailers website. Yes you have to pay for this. Others are already doing it. It is only going to increase in importance.

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What Is The Retail Blue Ocean Sales Strategy?

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SUMMARY:
I don’t know if I’m suggesting something as radical as the authors of the book “Blue Ocean Strategy” would suggest – I’m merely advocating you change the channel by looking beyond your existing business. That being said, pursuing new channels does have some similarities to the core philosophies shared in “Blue Ocean Strategy”. Think about your existing retail channels in context of the Red Ocean Strategy below, and then look at the Blue Ocean Strategy. It makes a Blue Ocean Strategy in retail seem worth a shot.

Key Benefits To Pursuing An “Alternative Channel” Strategy:

1) If you successfully develop new customers, you lessen your dependance on existing customers
2) Experience serves as a “Learning Lab” where you can test new ideas & apply learnings in your existing channels
3) Opportunity to create new demand for your product by positioning it for specific applications / uses
4) Growing sales in new channels may help lesson impact of seasonality in your existing channels
5) Buyers / merchants tend to stay within the retail industry – your new friends may pop up in your existing channels down the road.

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Walmart and Best Buy Place Their Bets and Position Themselves For Their Next Battle

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SUMMARY:
It started with Tivo’s announcement of a marketing partnership with Best Buy last July, and gained steam with Walmart’s recent acquisition of VuDu, and escalates with Tivo’s new big news on March 2nd. The next big battle in Consumer Electronics and TV’s is coming closer.

The reason I share this article with you is that you don’t have to be selling TVs or set top boxes to walk away with ideas that you can apply in your own brand/business.

HOW CAN YOU ADVANTAGE A PARTICULAR RETAILER?

The key lesson here in the pursuit of Retail Leverage is to ask (and answer) the question – “How can I advantage a particular retailer versus their competition?” Get over the battle you are fighting against other brands – THE RETAILER DOESN’T CARE. The real story is the retailers fight against each other.

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Retail Leverage Tribe Has Spoken – Our Ideas For Garmin

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SUMMARY:

Last week we asked “How Can Retail Leverage Help Garmin?” We didn’t pretend to have the answer, but we did share lots of background on their current situation. We asked our readers to share any ideas/thoughts they had regarding Garmin’s dilemma and we were ecstatic with the response. Combine that with some “new” news from Garmin in the last couple of weeks, and it begs an update.

RETAIL LEVERAGE WEIGHS IN:
With the luxury of seeing these great ideas roll in from our community, @retailleverage has the benefit and privilege of building on the ideas that were shared …

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Best Buy Insider Provides Perspective On Fall Of Circuit City

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SUMMARY:

I found a great resource that fills in the blanks on Circuit City’s demise from a person I follow on twitter, @DonEames . He is a former Senior VP of Best Buy, and now has his own management consulting company. Even though he was inside the key rival of Circuit City, I believe he had front row seats to the demise. His analysis would be politically tough for a Circuit City insider to provide, especially given the it was just a year ago that the final stores shuttered.

Check it out – it is called “CIRCUIT CITY SIX: Six Fatal Mistakes of a Once “Good to Great” Company”. It is a quick and to the point read. I found it to provide valuable insight to both retailers and brands alike, and for that matter, consumers who used to shop there (or avoid it).

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How Can Retail Leverage Help Garmin?

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SUMMARY:

EVEN GARMIN CAN FEEL LOST:

Who wants to be the first to admit they don’t have the answer to a problem? What do you do when your product is becoming a commodity, and even worse, when others start giving it away for free?

Garmin, the maker of GPS systems, is getting hit with this double-whammy. The majority of their problems center on their Automotive/Mobile business segment, which includes the main product that comes to mind for Garmin, the portable GPS for your car. Just as Tivo has watched the cable / satellite companies erode their share with generic DVR’s, smart phones are poised to erode the stand-alone portable GPS business.

WHERE DOES GARMIN GO FROM HERE?

The central question for Retail Leverage and our readers is “What can Garmin do to gain Retail Leverage with its nüvifone line?”

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Best Buy Is Your Best Strategy To Gain Retail Leverage

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SUMMARY:
Well the dust has settled and results from the Q4 holiday season are in. I realize that some of our readers are in the CE community and have ready access to retailer share. Note that I’m not quoting anything from NPD that I have access to for my job. I’m linking to a couple of public sources to point out that you can get a good idea of what is going on with a little digging (or you can get it from us)! The data I’m sharing is from consumer surveys conducted by 2 different firms, so take it with a grain of salt – it isn’t cash register data, but provides valuable perspective on where consumers look to purchase their electronics.
1) AD AGE ARTICLE SHOWS BEST BUY GAINING GROUND (WITH 33% SHARE)
2) RETREVO PULSE ARTICLE SAYS BEST BUY LOSING GROUND (BUT WITH 40% SHARE)

TAKEAWAY: CONSUMER ELECTRONICS STILL REVOLVES AROUND BEST BUY
Best Buy is the dominant player in Consumer Electronics, a king maker that has influence with consumers beyond whatever its share actually is (33% – 41%). Even as Walmart and Amazon grow share in the CE space, it is ultimately because people get more comfortable NOT making their purchase at Best Buy. If you are a CE manufacturer, not having your products at Best Buy robs you of credibility with consumers and key influencers. If you are an agency with clients who sell products at Best Buy, you need to know as much about Best Buy as your clients because it is your best route to success. If the products you sell can’t succeed at Best Buy, you will have little leverage wherever else you go to peddle your wares. Conversely, succeeding at Best Buy paves the way for success in other channels. Best Buy does the heavy lifting for other retailers that sell consumer electronics. They just have to look at what Best Buy assorts as a baseline and start from there. So get it right in the first place and base your plans on success at Best Buy. Retail leverage will flow from there.

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If Coke Needs Retail Leverage Then You Do Too

A KILLER APP FOR RETAIL LEVERAGE:

Coke’s Freestyle system hits on several of our 5 points in how to gain Retail Leverage.

#1 Have The Hot Product With No Substitutes
#3 Be A Top Revenue Vendor

TAKEAWAYS FOR ANY MARKETER:

No matter how big your brand is, you still need Retail Leverage
If they big guys need leverage, what does that say about the smaller challenger brands?
Figure out what you have to exploit that others don’t and leverage it.
If you don’t have something unique / different / better, then be prepared to move to the 6th, rarely spoken of, painful way to get Retail Leverage: Price.

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