Last year was pretty dismal for Best Buy. In August, Daily Beast reported a 92 percent slump in profits; its stock hit a nine-year low. Business Insider reported that Best Buy frequently receives low marks for customer service.
I experienced Best Buy's customer service on a recent Monday evening, returning a defective $20 remote control. During my time in line, I had ample time to think about Best Buy's future. There were the three "geeks" who puzzled over how to return a laptop purchased with reward points; associates who saw our increasingly surly line and went the other direction; the manager who, 15 minutes after being called, was never seen; the young lady, clearly bothered to be helping customers, who pressed buttons, stapled receipts and ambled around while seemingly accomplishing nothing.
These are the actions of people who have given up, not unlike the Dodge salesman who, in 2009, told me, "You don't really want to buy any of these cars." He recommended the Honda lot down the street.
I did buy a Honda, and I'll now be spending my refund at Amazon for the same product. I can order it from my phone in about three minutes, and it will be sitting on my doorstep two days later.
I'm usually reticent to move into the future and embrace change, but 30 minutes into my wait, listening to two workers discuss the workout Brad Pitt used for "Troy," was the exact moment when my nostalgic fondness for the brick-and-mortars ended for good.