Best Buy CEO: Pandemic made us ‘meet that customer where they are’

Best Buy CEO: Pandemic made us 'meet that customer where they are'


Best Buy customers walk out of the store wearing masks. CEO Corey Barry said retailers would have to continue to offer shoppers a range of options to get the product.

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Cory Barry received his first year as the CEO of Best Buy. The newly formed CEO pushed the electronics retailer forward through the onset of the coronovirus epidemic and brought all the changes that customers bought and how they shopped. Barry said virtual CES Attendees thought on Tuesday that demand for services such as curbside pickup would continue in the coming years as well – and that companies would define their brands on the basis of how smooth they could make the process for customers.

Barry said that whether it’s at home, at curbside or at the store, “we need to meet the customer where they are.”

Best Buy has performed well during the epidemic, with in-store and online sales increasing in the quarter ending in October. It was a front-row seat for the needs of office workers who transitioned from home to work. Many customers started by purchasing new computers for home offices. After purchasing a web cam and a microphone, Barry said, customers might think, “Then I need a good ring light so that it feels like I step outside sometimes.”

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Barry said that to meet the growing demand for products and deliver them in ways that customers needed during the epidemic, the company implemented changes that were planned for the first months or years. The company became even more flexible about changing a new process in stores, even if it had just rolled.

The response was critical, Barry said, because customers would remember that a specific brand took care of them during the epidemic. Barry said that along with employee health and safety, obtaining this right is more important in the long run than a long term benefit.

Barry also said that he faced his own leadership style when faced with epidemic disruptions.

“No matter how much you think you are aware of how you will lead in this role, you truly have no idea until you see the challenges before you,” she said.

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