Company profile: Best Buy

Best Buy is one of the largest electronic retailers in the world. We take a look at how it became a US household name.

About Best Buy - company profile

CEO: Corie Barry

President: Mike Mohan (president and chief operating officer)

Based in: Penn Avenue S, Richfield, St Paul, Minnesota, U.S.

Founded:  August 1966 

Best known for: music retail

Traded on: NYSE

Ticker: BBY (S&P 500)

Employees 102,000

Assets: $42.88bn 

Operating income $1.9bn (2019).

BBY price history

Date Close Change Change(%) Open High Low
Oct 27, 2021 118.54 -2.45 -2.02% 120.99 122.01 118.45
Oct 26, 2021 121.02 -0.07 -0.06% 121.09 123.39 120.95
Oct 25, 2021 120.26 1.88 1.59% 118.38 121.35 117.89
Oct 22, 2021 118.17 0.79 0.67% 117.38 118.35 116.67
Oct 21, 2021 117.36 3.05 2.67% 114.31 117.46 114.10
Oct 20, 2021 114.32 0.62 0.55% 113.70 115.19 113.70
Oct 19, 2021 113.72 -2.08 -1.80% 115.80 116.38 113.69
Oct 18, 2021 115.41 2.73 2.42% 112.68 116.17 112.55
Oct 15, 2021 113.39 0.07 0.06% 113.32 114.47 112.81
Oct 14, 2021 112.43 1.52 1.37% 110.91 112.88 109.98
Oct 13, 2021 110.57 1.26 1.15% 109.31 111.21 107.88
Oct 12, 2021 109.13 -0.03 -0.03% 109.16 110.39 108.58
Oct 11, 2021 108.67 1.36 1.27% 107.31 109.64 106.87
Oct 8, 2021 107.04 -0.30 -0.28% 107.34 110.08 106.88
Oct 7, 2021 107.39 0.35 0.33% 107.04 109.02 106.44
Oct 6, 2021 105.56 0.23 0.22% 105.33 106.55 104.60
Oct 5, 2021 106.17 0.42 0.40% 105.75 107.49 105.32
Oct 4, 2021 105.30 0.61 0.58% 104.69 106.71 104.60
Oct 1, 2021 105.13 -0.96 -0.90% 106.09 106.51 103.27
Sep 30, 2021 105.50 -2.42 -2.24% 107.92 108.20 105.17

Best Buy started out selling audio equipment in 1966.  It has expanded to sell home electronics and support services; everything from fridges, food processors, cameras to computing equipment.

Best Buy was originally called Sound of Music and sold audio equipment. It was founded by Richard M Schulze and James Wheeler in their home city of St. Paul, Minnesota in 1966.

Schulze took out a second mortgage and used personal savings to set up the first store. In its first year Sound of Music earned $1m in revenue, $58,000 of it profits.

By 1969, Sound of Music had three stores and Schulze had bought out Wheeler.

The company then rebranded as Best Buy in 1983 to appeal to older customers.

Today, it operates in the US, Canada and Mexico. It traded in China until 2011 and Europe until 2012.

What brands does Best Buy own

Best Buy has several subsidiaries including its support service Geek Squad; others include Magnolia Audio Video, and Pacific Sales.

Geek Squad was originally an independent company. It was founded by Robert Stephens in 1994.

It merged with Best Buy in 2002 and provides services in-store, on-site, and over the internet via remote access.

Geek Squad also provides 24-hour telephone and emergency on-site support and as well as computer-related devices also diagnoses issues in and repairs all consumer electronics, as well as appliances.

Best Buy owns the Best Buy Mobile and Insignia mobile phone brands in North America and Five Star in China.

In 2013, Best Buy sold its 50% share in Best Buy Europe - a joint venture it entered into with Carphone Warehouse in 2008 - for $775m.

The venture involved 2,400 stores across Europe and Best Buy had invested $2.15bn. It sold back its stake citing the credit crunch and a growth in online shopping.

Best Buy has its headquarters in Richfield, St Pauls. Minnesota.

Best Buy is listed on the New York stock exchange, so is owned by shareholders. Its co-founder Richard Schulze is chairman emeritus of Best Buy and its largest individual shareholder with an 11% stake.

In 2011 Schulze wanted to take Best Buy back into private ownership, claiming he could fix the company.

He offered Best Buy's board between $24 to $26 a share, which amounted to a total of $8bn.

Schulze was offering to buy back the shares himself, along with a number of private equity firms.

Schulze struggled to get the funding together and in 2013 was offered the role of  chairman emeritus. He was joined on the board of directors by Brad Anderson and Al Lenzmeier,  who had helped him plan the buy-back attempt.

Best Buy timeline

1966-1983 - company set up as Sound of Music, specialising in audio equipment

1969 - Schulze buys out Wheeler

1978 - Sound of Music has nine stores in North America

1983 - company has sales of $10m per year

1987 - Best Buy lists on the New York Stock Exchange

1999 - Best Buy joins the S&P 500 index

2002 - Brad Anderson becomes CEO, replacing Schulze

2001 - named Specialty Retailer of the Decade by Discount Store News 

2004 - named Company of the Year by Forbes magazine 

2005 - in the top 10 of America's Most Generous Corporations by Forbes 

2007 - opens its first store in China

2008 - starts selling musical instruments

2010 - opens stores in the United Kingdom

2011 - pulls out of China

2012 - pulls out of Europe

2013 - sells its stake in U.K-based Carphone Warehouse

2019 - Barron’s names it most sustainable company in the United States

Trade Best Buy - BBY stock price

Best Buy
Daily change
118.54
Low: 118.53
High: 121.88
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