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Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY) & Electronics Retailers Struggling in an Online World

Online shopping hasn’t killed the retail business just yet. Many consumers still want a place to try out and buy the very devices they’ll use for all that shopping. But, some electronics retailers have been experiencing rough waters in recent years, with RadioShack Corporation (NYSE:RSH) reporting consecutive losses and hhgregg, Inc. (NYSE:HGG) suffering from low sales in its most recent quarter. Continued concern about showrooming has some electronics retailers restructuring their business model in order to more effectively compete with online giant, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).

Following Best Buy (NYSE:BBY)

Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY)Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) seems to have already realized that change is unavoidable to keep up with the rapidly-evolving marketplace. The company is not only surviving the online takeover, it seems to be thriving. Just as analysts were sounding the death knell for the company, Best Buy rebounded, surging 155% to become one of the top-performing S&P 500 stocks.

The outlook for Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) isn’t quite so positive. Analysts feel part of Best Buy’s recent success is due to the company selling its stake in Best Buy Europe, and therefore, the streak is unlikely to continue. The company is likely to face increasing competition from e-tailers, requiring it to struggle to keep costs low without sacrificing profit.

Still, Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) is working hard to appeal to today’s consumers, especially with its switch to smaller locations called “Best Buy Mobile.” The company also seems to realize its value to computer shoppers, who often need in-person assistance when making purchasing decisions. Computer sales accounted for nearly half of the company’s revenue in its most recent quarter. But, with the company closing 50 of its original stores, many analysts are wondering if the company’s core business model will suffer.

Is RadioShack following?

When Radio Shack announced a new concept store in Manhattan earlier this month, analysts considered it a new era for the retailer. New CEO, Joseph Magnacca, has big plans for the company following a disappointing first quarter. The former Walgreens CEO announced a 100-day turnaround plan when he joined the company in February, and the Manhattan store is considered part of that plan. Like Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) Mobile, this first RadioShack Corporation (NYSE:RSH) concept store focuses on mobile devices from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung, introducing some of the latest new gadgets to tech-hungry customers.

Unlike Best Buy and hhgregg, Inc. (NYSE:HGG), however, RadioShack Corporation (NYSE:RSH) has been suffering this year. For the past year, the company has seen declining sales, losing 7% in the past quarter alone, with losses totaling $43.4 million. Worst of all, it was the company’s fifth consecutive loss.

While Magnacca has high hopes for the company, analysts are still skeptical. Can a company whose name refers to a device that was more relevant 50 years ago meet its goal of appealing to younger consumers? Chances are, Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) is more likely to win that battle.

Amazon goes digital

Life isn’t always sunny for online retailers, either. While Amazon’s stock recently surpassed the $300 mark for the first time ever, the company’s continued profitability has been questioned. The online retailer maintains rock-bottom prices, sometimes at the cost of its own bottom line. The company is still a good buy for investors, however, especially when compared to the per-share prices of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) ($400+) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) ($900+).

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