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Best Buy Begins to Supply Customers, not Store Shelves

060129Best Buy is discovering that "big box" idea has run its course as a competitive advantage, so it's pushing supply chain management further into the selling process. Instead of minimizing costs, maximizing customer access to products has become the focus.

HBS Working Knowledge Best Buy's Supply Chain Transformation by Ken Cotrill

The strategy, dubbed "customer-centricity," entails seeing the customer experience from the consumer's perspective and investing in new store formats that are tailored to the buying intentions of the demographic segments—affluent professionals, active younger males, family men, and busy suburban moms, to name a few. ...

The decisions that are at the heart of customer-centricity, such as where to place products and displays, are increasingly being made by Best Buy's frontline employees.

As retailers learn more about the buyer's decision-making process, we can expect to see them pull away from the "mass merchant" approach.