In this Placer Bytes, we dive into recent announcements from Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Nike. All three are launching new initiatives aimed at leveraging their strength in the current retail environment to drive long-term benefits.
Best Buy recently announced a new annual membership to its Geek Squad service, Dick’s is testing new experiential components in stores and Nike is cutting more wholesale partnerships. All of these share a common trait - they are pushed by top-performing retailers to leverage a unique level of short-term strength to drive long-term benefits.
As the wider retail sector continues to recover, few retailers saw the same level of pandemic success as Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, or Nike. All three are also seeing very strong recovery trends - not just compared to a severely affected 2020 - but even when compared to 2019. Looking at weekly visits compared to the equivalent weeks in 2019 shows that all three brands have been within striking distance of ‘normalcy’ since late February, with several weeks actually showing visit growth over 2019 numbers. A surge for Dick’s and Best Buy during the weeks of March 15th and 22nd also speak to the pent-up demand that could drive significant value for these players throughout the year.
So, why are the announcements particularly exciting? Best Buy is not only the strongest electronics retailer in the country but is also increasingly leveraging its footprint to move into other channels such as BOPIS, delivery, and more. But the expansion of a Geek Squad model that places a greater dependence on and relationship with actual people can only drive even greater value over time. This is even more important considering the trend to work from home, which will make a trusted partner that can provide products and help ensure they are all working smoothly in the new workplace, highly valued. It is something that we expected to see more office supply players push for, but following the success of their appointment model in the early weeks of the retail recovery, it is no surprise to see Best Buy taking the innovation lead yet again.
Dick’s push into experiential is equally interesting as it speaks to a brand that recognizes the privileged position and rising role surrounding sport, at-home fitness, and athleisure - three subsets that the brand is well-catered to. The push to create more immersive and exciting experiences offers a vision of a brand that is looking to retain its role as one of the primary retailers within the space - especially as more athletic wear brands turn to owned retail strategies.
Nike’s move is among the most significant because it serves as the ideal example of one of the biggest trends in retail - DTC and product companies looking to own the offline retail experience. The push further deepens the importance of the brand’s offline expansion plan but also hints to a wider wave of similarly-oriented companies looking to own the brand experience more fully.
How will these trends continue? Will these brands be lauded in the future for the pushes they made at this particular moment? Visit Placer.ai to find out.