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)
Operating income $1.9bn (2019).
BBY price history
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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.
What is your sentiment on BBY?
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.
Where is Best Buy located?
Best Buy has its headquarters in Richfield, St Pauls. Minnesota.
Who owns the company Best Buy?
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