Best Buy Company History Timeline


Incorporated: 1966 as Sound of Music, Inc.


In 1967, Sound of Music acquired Kencraft Hi-Fi Company and Bergo Company.


In 1969, Sound of Music had three stores and Schulze bought out his business partner.


In 1970 Richard became the sole owner of the store as he bought out the stakes of his partner.


1971: Schulze buys out his partner and begins to expand.


Anderson had begun working at Best Buy in 1973 while attending seminary school.


The Burnsville location featured a high-volume, low-price business model, which was borrowed partially from Schulze's successful Tornado Sale in 1981.

In 1981, the Roseville, Minnesota, Sound of Music location, at the time the largest and most profitable Sound of Music store, was hit by a tornado.

Till 1981, he was happy selling only his stereo equipment and with the income it generated.


Future Shop had been founded by Hassan Khosrowshahi, who opened the chain's first outlet in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1982.

Inspite of having little experience selling appliances, his store was able to generate $9.5 million in revenue in the year 1982.


In 1983, with seven stores and $10 million in annual sales, Sound of Music was renamed Best Buy Company, Inc.

The company changed its name from Sound of Music, Inc. to Best Buy Co., Inc. in 1983.


Then, in 1984, Schulze took another major step by introducing the superstore format and quickly capturing 42 percent of the local market.


Meantime, Best Buy was taken public in 1985, raising $8 million through an IPO, and two years later gained a listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Dunn had joined Best Buy in 1985 as a sales associate.


In 1986, Best Buy began to offer entertainment software, adding video rental departments and CDs.


Now they decided to expand their services throughout the Midwest region and by 1987 they had more than 25 stores.

Best Buy debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in 1987.

Price wars were the chief culprit, and they were still escalating to a frenzied pitch in Best Buy’s core Twin Cities market, which Highland had boldly entered in early 1987.

At the time the company operated just eight stores in the Midwest, but by 1987 this number had tripled, while sales and earnings had spi-raled upward to $239 million and $7.7 million, respectively.


Although sales had practically doubled to $439 million in fiscal 1988, net earnings had declined by 64 percent.


Despite the earnings downturn in fiscal 1989 (net profits for the year ending March 31 slumped 26 percent, to just $2 million), and the looming presence of Highland, revenues were still climbing, albeit more slowly.


In April 1991, even before Best Buy had gotten around to converting its 10 Twin Cities stores, loss-ravaged Highland exited the metropolitan area, conceding defeat and closing all six of its stores there.

For the first half of 1991, Best Buy outshone all other New York Stock Exchange stocks in percentage appreciation.

Best Buy itself reported a loss of $9.4 million for fiscal 1991, but this was due to a $14 million change in its method of accounting for extended service plans.


He later expanded the chain throughout the remaining Canadian provinces and even made an abortive move into the United States market in 1992, opening 28 stores in five states and losing millions before beating a hasty retreat.

In 1992, it hit the $1 billion mark in annual revenues.


The concept became a big hit with the customers and soon Best buy had recorded its highest earning year in 1993 with total revenues touching the $1.5 billion mark.

Numerous other openings, including a small number of megastores (40,000- to 50,000-square-foot self-service warehouses emphasizing the emerging growth lines of prerecorded music and computers), brought Best Buy’s tally to 151 stores by year-end 1993.


The Virginia company also had plans to enter Kansas City, Missouri and the Twin Cities in 1994.

In 1994 Best Buy decided to expand into the Pacific Northwest where other consumer electronics chains were strong.

Since 1994 Best Buy has sponsored the annual Best Buy Children's Foundation LPGA Golf Tournament.


christman, ed. "best buy, circuit city a potent combo; 2 chains change entertainment retailing." billboard, 17 june 1995.

President of Mitsubishi Consumer Electronics America Jack Osborn explained to Forbes in 1995 that his company chose to sell through smaller retailers because they offer better service and cannot use their size to pressure Mitsubishi into offering lower wholesale prices.

In an effort to reverse this trend, Best Buy announced in 1995 that it would revamp its merchandising format for high-quality audio products.


"best buy, circuit city downsize." television digest, 23 september 1996.

The company was particularly hurt that year by an ill-timed decision to borrow heavily to add $300 million of merchandise, mainly computers, for the 1996 holiday season.

From 1996-97, Best Buy opened nearly 95 stores as their popularity was growing.

In 1996, it introduced gourmet kitchen appliances to its outlets offering cookware, small electronics, cutlery, and spices.


In early 1997, saddled with mountains of unsold PCs, Best Buy had to ask its creditors and vendors for an extra 60 days to pay its bills.

By 1997 Best Buy had achieved its goal of becoming the industry leader, but it paid the price in profits, which had fallen to a dismal $1.7 million on revenues of $7.77 billion, translating into a minuscule profit margin of 0.02 percent.

Schulze and his partner operated the store for five years, but in 1997 Schulze bought out his partner and began expanding the chain.


While this restructuring proceeded, the chain's expansion was slowed considerably, and only 12 new stores opened during the fiscal year ending in February 1998.

In March 1998 Best Buy officially entered the e-commerce realm by launching an online music store at its web site.

"visual merchandising exec joins best buy." pr newswire, 9 june 1998.

Inventory began turning over at a quicker pace, a key criterion for retail success, and net profits for 1998 jumped to a record $94.5 million on record revenues of $8.36 billion.

1998: The Concept IV format debuts, featuring more high-tech products, merchandise grouped in such departments as home theater, cash registers throughout the store, and "high touch" areas for digital products where more employee interaction is needed.

Best Buy continued adding DVD movie titles and planned to continue expanding its DVD movie area over 1998.

In 1986, Best Buy began to offer entertainment software, adding video rental departments and CDs. It was the first major retailer to sell digital versatile disks (DVDs) and related software beginning in 1998.


Sales of digital products reached 17 percent of total sales, compared to the 4 percent figure for fiscal 1999.

1999: Revenues surpass $10 billion.

The company planned to open another 25 stores during fiscal year 1999.


In August 2000, through an agreement with Whirlpool Corporation, Best Buy stores began selling KitchenAid brand appliances.

Fiscal 2000 profits jumped 60 percent, to $347.1 million, and revenues grew smartly again, reaching $12.49 billion.


In January 2001, Best Buy acquired Musicland Stores Corporation, a Minnetonka, Minnesota-based retailer that sold home entertainment products under the Sam Goody, Suncoast Motion Picture Company, Media Play and OnCue brands.

In November 2001 the company spent $368 million for Future Shop Ltd., the largest consumer electronics retailer in Canada.

Among the 62 new Best Buy stores opened during 2001 were 15 located in the greater New York City area.

Heightened competition and a slowdown in consumer spending cut into fiscal 2001 profits, which increased only 14 percent over the previous year.


Best Buy announced in April 2002 that it would rebrand the On Cue stores under the more nationally known Sam Goody name.

Brad Anderson succeeded Richard Schulze as Best Buy CEO in July 2002.

Toward this same end, Best Buy had bought Minneapolis-based Geek Squad, Inc. in October 2002 for about $3 million.

Despite the completion of this acquisition, Best Buy pushed ahead with a previously planned expansion of the Best Buy chain into Canada, opening eight stores in the Toronto area in the fall of 2002.


In another early 2003 development, Best Buy shifted its corporate headquarters from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, where it had operated out of eight scattered buildings, to a more compact 37-acre campus in nearby Richfield.

2003: Some $500 million in special charges, mainly related to the money-losing Musicland operations, cut profits for the fiscal year to $99 million; Best Buy divests Musicland; Magnolia Hi-Fi is renamed Magnolia Audio Video; Best Buy pays its first dividend.


Fueled by a 7.1 percent increase in comparable store sales, the newly refocused Best Buy rebounded with its best year ever in fiscal 2004.

In 2004 Best Buy introduced the Reward Zone loyalty program as part of their customer centricity transformation and hired the Virtucom group to handle their online content.


In April 2005, Best Buy began eliminating mail-in rebates in response to negative customer reaction against them, and instead started giving out instant rebates via notebook computers.


In May 2006, Best Buy acquired a majority interest in Chinese appliance retailer Jiangsu Five Star Appliance for $180 million.


In January 2007, the first Best Buy-branded store in China officially opened in Shanghai, China.

In March 2007, Best Buy acquired Speakeasy, a Seattle, Washington-based broadband VOIP, data and IT services provider.

Another notable event in the year 2007 was the purchase of Napster and Cinema Now which they hoped would help them to keep up with the advancement of digital downloads which were causing a sharp decrease in media and music sales in stores.


In February 2008, Best Buy opened its first store in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

In July 2008, Best Buy announced that it would start selling musical instruments and related gear in over 80 of its retail stores, making the company the second-largest musical-instrument distributor in the US. Best Buy became the first third-party retail seller of Apple's iPhone in September.

Joly had previously served as CEO of Carlson, a hospitality conglomerate, since 2008.


In November 2009, Best Buy partnered with Roxio's CinemaNow to launch an on-demand streaming service which allowed streaming from any Internet device sold by Best Buy.

Brian Dunn replaced Schulze as the CEO of the company in 2009, although Schulze stays active in the company serves as the chairman of the board.

As a way to improve its image and past environmental issues, the company introduced a recycling program in 2009 that has since collected nearly half-a-billion pounds of consumer electronics and e-waste, and is available at all their stores for a nominal fee.


In April 2010, Best Buy opened its first United Kingdom-based Best Buy-branded store in Thurrock.

In 2010 Best Buy launched their Video Game trade in program which allowed them to purchase used video games and resell them similar to that of GameStop.

An increasing trend towards online shopping began to erode revenues and profits in the 2010s.


In November 2011, Best Buy purchased The Carphone Warehouse's share of Best Buy Mobile for $1.3 billion.


In March of 2012 Best Buy announced a quarterly loss of 1.7 billion dollars which leads them to announce the move from the big box strategy of the past.

The company eventually opened 11 Best Buy stores in the United Kingdom, all of which were closed in early 2012.


In April 2013, Best Buy exited the European consumer electronics market when it sold its 50% stake in The Carphone Warehouse back to the UK-based mobile phone retailer.

As of 2013 the company has 1,150 stores and sales revenue of $50 billion.


A 4% dip in sales for the June 30, 2014, quarter, marked the 10th quarter in a row where Best Buy's sales had declined.


On March 28, 2015, Best Buy announced the shutdown of the Future Shop chain in Canada; 65 of its 131 former locations were converted into Best Buy locations, while the rest (primarily those in close proximity to an existing Best Buy) were closed permanently.

The shop sold the best quality of fishing, camping, and hunting gear (“History and background of Abercrombie & Fitch,” 2015). As you see today, Abercrombie


On March 1, 2018, the company announced that it would shut down its 250 standalone Best Buy Mobile stores in the United States by the end of May, due to low revenue and high costs.

On May 9, 2018, the company unveiled a new logo for the first time in nearly three decades.

On July 2, 2018, Best Buy announced it was cutting the amount of store space devoted to selling physical music, citing the popularity of streaming services as having reduced sales.


Hubert Joly is executive chairman of Best Buy, having been succeeded as CEO by Corie Barry in June 2019.


During the lockdown and increased frequency of working from home, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Best Buy announced that its US online sales (increased purchase of computers, printers, tablets, fitness tech and other gear) for the Q2 of 2020 had tripled.


Despite an increase in sales of computer equipment due to an increase in remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic, Best Buy laid off over 5,000 employees in early 2021 and forced many others into part-time positions.

Despite these revenues, Best Buy has laid off over 5,000 employees in early 2021, along with forcing many others into part-time positions.


"Best Buy Co., Inc. ." International Directory of Company Histories. . (June 22, 2022).

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Richard M. Schulze,James Wheeler,Whit Alexander
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How Old Is Best Buy?

Best Buy is 57 years old.

Who Is The Founder Of Best Buy?

Richard Schulze and James Wheeler founded Best Buy.

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Best Buy may also be known as or be related to Best Buy, Best Buy Co Inc, Best Buy Co., Inc., Sound of Music (1966–1983) Best Buy Co. Superstores (1983–1984) Best Buy Superstores (1984–1989) and best buy geek squad.