By Ed Oswald | Monday, May 18, 2009 at 10:15 am
Wal-Mart is making a move to become a premier electronics destination and gain share in the wake of Circuit City’s demise. Beginning this week, the electronics departments in all 3,500+ stores will get a facelift.
Wal-Mart and Amazon seem to have been the biggest beneficiaries of Circuit City’s fall, splitting the company’s business rather evenly. Best Buy has not seemed to gain much at all, even though it was expected to by analysts.
Displays will be roomier, and top brands will get their own distinct sections. The moves are a continuation of Wal-Mart electronics expansion, this time apparently aimed at making the department more sophisticated.
One thing that will make computer manufacturers happy is a new laptop section where consumers will be able to try out the products. Many were not happy with Wal-Mart’s strategy of keeping them locked away to prevent shoplifting: this would bring them more in line with what other electronics retailers do.
The recession has definitely helped out the retailer: consumers that normally would not shop there have turned to Wal-Mart in search of better deals. Company executives see this, and are making an honest effort to step up their game to keep these new shoppers when the economy improves.
Changes in consumer behavior is also being noticed by the manufacturers themselves: Wal-Mart is now able to compete for first runs of new products, whereas before they weren’t even considered.
(Hat tip: Wall Street Journal)