Best Buy Company History Timeline

(2,678 Jobs)
1966

On August 22, 1966, Richard M. Schulze and a business partner opened Sound of Music, an electronics store specializing in high fidelity stereos in St Paul, Minnesota.

In 1966 Schulze and a partner established Sound of Music, Inc. and opened their first store in St Paul, Minnesota, in an attempt to capture a share of the Twin Cities' home and car stereo retail market.

1966: Richard M. Schulze and a partner establish Sound of Music, Inc., a home and car stereo store in St Paul, Minnesota.

Incorporated: 1966 as Sound of Music, Inc.

In 1966 Schulze and a partner opened Sound of Music Inc. in an attempt to capture a share of the Twin Cities’ home and car stereo retail market.

In 1966 Richard Schulze opened Sound of Music, a home and car stereo store in Minnesota targeted to teenage boys.

The Best Buy Company., Inc. was started by Richard M. Schulze and his partner in the year 1966.

1967

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

1969

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

1970

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

1971

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

1973

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

1981

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

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.

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

1982

In 1982 revenues reached $9.3 million; the following year the company renamed itself Best Buy Co., Inc. and firmly oriented itself toward an older, broader, and more affluent customer base.

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

1982: After expanding offerings to include appliances and VCRs, revenues reach $9.3 million.

In 1982 revenues reached $9.3 million; the following year the company renamed itself Best Buy and firmly oriented itself toward an older, broader, and more affluent customer base.

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

1983

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

1984

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

1984: Schulze introduces the superstore format.

1985

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.

1986

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

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 spiraled upward to $239 million and $7.7 million, respectively.

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 Superstores had boldly entered in early 1987.

1987: Best Buy gains a listing on the New York Stock Exchange; revenues reach $239 million from 24 stores.

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.

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 Superstores had boldly entered in early 1987.

By 1987, Best Buy had 24 stores and sales of $240 million, but it was beginning to feel the crunch as other rapidly expanding consumer electronics retailers pushed their way into the market.

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.

1988

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

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

1989

Despite the earnings downturn in 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.

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.

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.

1991

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

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.

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

For the first half of 1991, Best Buy outshone all other NYSE stocks in percentage appreciation.

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.

1992

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, the company achieved $1 billion in annual revenues.

1993

During the calendar year 1993, Best Buy opened nine more stores in Chicago, for a total of 23, to solidify its leadership position in the Midwest, and entered the key Circuit City markets of Atlanta and Phoenix with an additional 13 stores.

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.

1993: Revenues soar past the $1 billion mark, reaching $1.6 billion.

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.

During the calendar year 1993, Best Buy opened 9 more stores in Chicago, for a total of 23, to solidify its leadership position in the Midwest and also entered the key Circuit City markets of Atlanta and Phoenix with an additional 13 stores.

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.

1994

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

Founded in 1994, Geek Squad was a computer-maintenance company providing at-home/in-office technology support services.

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.

1995

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

haran, leah. "best buy, circuit city raising the stakes in electronics warfare." advertising age, 27 september 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.

By late 1995 Best Buy was breathing down the neck of Circuit City in terms of market share.

1996

"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.

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

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

1997

In 1997 the company cut back its CD selection and raised the remaining titles' prices slightly.

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.

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.

Although revenues rose slightly in fiscal 1997 to 7.7 billion, earnings had plummeted to $1.7 million.

In 1997 the company cut back its CD selection and raised the remaining titles’ prices slightly.

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 0.02 percent of sales.

Entertainment Software accounted for 20 percent (up 1 percent from 1997); Appliances accounted for 9 percent; and in the Consumer Electronics Division, the video segment generated 15 percent of sales, while audio generated 11 percent.

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

In summer of 1997, Best Buy raised funds by donating $1 for each T-shirt sold at the 1997 Chicago Blues Festival.

By 1997 their revenue had touched $7 billion nearly double that of last year.

1998

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 bestbuy.com web site.

In April 1998, Best Buy marked its first $1-million week in movie sales and a significant 35 percent of the DVD movie market.

"best buy's dvd marketshare reaches 35%, best buy hits first $1 million post-holiday week for dvd movies." prnewswire, 10 april 1998.

"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.

Best Buy launched its "Concept IV" stores with its expansion into New England in 1998.

Plans for the future included products such as flat screen televisions, cellular communications, and the linking of personal computers and consumer electronics. It was the first major retailer to sell digital versatile disks (DVDs) and related software beginning in 1998.

1999

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.

2000

In June 2000 Best Buy relaunched an expanded bestbuy.com web site, which now offered not only music and DVDs but also consumer electronics, computers and peripherals, software, and games.

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

In December 2000 the company completed its first ever acquisition, that of Magnolia Hi-Fi, Inc.

The company acquired Magnolia Hi-Fi, Inc., an audio-video retailer located in California, Washington and Oregon, in December 2000.

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

Nine of these stores were opened during fiscal 2000, and it was hoped that the new format would enable the company to continue its expansion even as its penetration of larger metropolitan areas neared saturation.

2000: Best Buy relaunches an expanded bestbuy.com web site; Seattle-based Magnolia Hi-Fi, Inc., operator of 13 high-end consumer electronics stores on the West Coast, is acquired for $88 million.

In 2000, Best Buy formed Redline Entertainment, an independent music label and action-sports video distributor.

2001

In January 2001 Best Buy acquired Musicland Stores Corporation, based in nearby Minnetonka, Minnesota.

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.

2001: Best Buy acquires Musicland Stores Corporation, operator of 1,300 music stores, for $685.3 million in cash and assumed debt; also purchases Future Shop Ltd., the largest consumer electronics retailer in Canada, for $368 million.

2002

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.

2003

Musicland continued to lose money, however, and in March 2003 Best Buy announced it would sell the entire division.

In June 2003 Best Buy offloaded Musicland, essentially giving the unit away to Sun Capital Partners Inc., a private investment firm based in Boca Raton, Florida.

In November 2003 the Best Buy chain opened its 600th United States store, during a fiscal year in which 78 new Best Buys made their debut.

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.

During 2003 Best Buy took $410 million in charges to write down the value of its Musicland acquisition, and coupled with additional charges of $90 million, net profits for the year totaled just $99 million.

As the Best Buy chain pushed past the 500-store mark in 2003 with the opening of 67 new stores in the United States, including the first stores in Alaska, Idaho, Utah, and West Virginia, the situation at the Musicland chains was deteriorating.

The stock had performed poorly ever since the Musicland acquisition, but during the 2003 calendar year, shares of Best Buy ascended 124 percent.

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.

In 2003, the company was selling every possible electronic device under their roof from washing machines to music players to mobile phones that too from every brand and in every shape, colour, size, etc.

Best Buy stores in the United States surpassed the 600-store mark and the company opened its first global-sourcing office in Shanghai in 2003.

Also in 2003, Best Buy's corporate offices were consolidated into a single campus in Richfield, Minnesota.

2004

By early 2004, Magnolia Audio Video, formerly called Magnolia Hi-Fi, operated 19 stores in Washington, Oregon, and California offering high-end consumer electronics and providing expert design and installation services.

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.

2005

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.

2006

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

2007

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.

2008

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.

2009

In February 2009, Best Buy leveraged its partnership with The Carphone Warehouse to launch Best Buy Mobile, a Best Buy-branded mobile retailer.

Best Buy partnered with Roxio's CinemaNow to launch an on-demand movie download service that would allow customers to stream content to any device sold by Best Buy that connected to the Internet in November 2009.

2010

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

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

2011

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

In December 2011, Best Buy purchased mindSHIFT Technologies, a company that provided IT support for small and medium-sized businesses, for $167 million.

2012

In April 2012, Brian Dunn resigned as Best Buy's CEO during an internal company investigation into allegations of personal misconduct stemming from an inappropriate relationship with a female Best Buy employee.

The internal investigation was released in May 2012 and alleged that Best Buy founder and chairman Richard Schulze knew of Dunn's inappropriate relationship and failed to notify the Best Buy board.

Hubert Joly replaced Mikan as Best Buy CEO in September 2012.

2013

In April 2013, Best Buy exited the European consumer electronics market when it sold its 50% stake in 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.

2014

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

2015

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.

2018

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.

2021

"Best Buy Co., Inc. ." International Directory of Company Histories. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 15, 2021). https://www.encyclopedia.com/books/politics-and-business-magazines/best-buy-co-inc-0

"Best Buy Co., Inc. ." International Directory of Company Histories. . Retrieved April 15, 2021 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/books/politics-and-business-magazines/best-buy-co-inc-0

"Best Buy Co., Inc. ." International Directory of Company Histories. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 15, 2021). https://www.encyclopedia.com/books/politics-and-business-magazines/best-buy-co-inc-1

"Best Buy Co., Inc. ." International Directory of Company Histories. . Retrieved April 15, 2021 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/books/politics-and-business-magazines/best-buy-co-inc-1

Founded
1966
Company Founded
Headquarters
Richfield, MN
Company Headquarter
Founders
Richard Schulze,James Wheeler
Company Founders

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