CES 2008: Brad Anderson – Best Buy CEO in CES Forum

Best Buy CEO, Brad Anderson, participated in the International Retail Power Panel at the Hilton Las Vegas alongside leaders from other large consumer electronics retailers from around the world.

When Brad Anderson talks people listen.

He stated that 2007 was a good year for Best Buy, but it was a tough one.

Anderson said Best Buy saw extraordinary growth in GPS devices and notebooks.

Asked about the impact the overall economy has on consumer electronics, Anderson stated,”We definitely can feel it.”

Anderson suggested that Best Buy’s growth and differentiation comes from customer intelligence. “We’re trying to deepen our understanding of the customers who shop our stores.”

The web is changing how people shop for consumer electronics. However, Anderson pointed out that it also provides increased employee expertise.

Asked about the importance of brands, Anderson explained that he has seen a surge in value oriented brands, which are taking a piece of the flat panel business. He’s also seeing growth in Best Buy’s private label brands. Large brands need to differentiate to be competitive with lower cost sets.

Asked about Warner’s decision to exclusively support BluRay formatted high definition content, Anderson said it, “increased the likelihood of getting to one format.” Internally, he says, “Employees are frustrated by the difficulty in guiding consumers to appropriate products today.” On a 1-5 scale, he puts resolving this issue for consumers a 4 to 5.

The move to digital TV is, “One of the biggest risks our industry has.” Anderson explained Best Buy’s roll in the change, stating, “We’re trying to diminish that risk.”

Don’t 90% of consumers already have cable or satellite? Anderson said he polled some his own employees in a recent meeting, asking, “How many have a set in your house that is dependent on an analog feed? Almost all raised their hands.”

Best Buy polled their HDTV buying customers and found some interesting results when asked about hooking up HDTV sets to non-HD sources. “We were surprised to find that people who hooked up their HDTVs to non-HDTV sources were aware of it. They said that they were future-proofing their sets.”

How important is it that the industry goes green? Anderson gives it a 5 out of 5 for importance.

Making products easy for consumers to understand also comes in at 5 out of 5 for importance for Anderson.

CES 2008: Brad Anderson – Best Buy CEO in CES Forum

Originally uploaded by technologyevangelistcom.

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