Best Buy is eliminating about 400 members of its Geek Squad workforce, with a goal of outsourcing that work and moving those employees to other positions. The affected positions are on the Geek Squad’s covert team, who often work from their homes to provide remote technical support to customers. A Best Buy spokesperson said that the affected employees will be offered other jobs with similar pay and responsibilities. Employees who do not want to transfer either to a nearby store or to a job visiting customers’ homes will be given a severance package.
Total Retail’s Take: The Geek Squad has become a key offering for Best Buy over the years. The service differentiated the consumer electronics retailer from its competitors, however, Amazon.com recently began testing a limited offering of its own in-home consultation and installation services in select markets. With this move, Best Buy may be trying to evolve with the changing needs of its customers and put itself in a better position to compete against Amazon.