Time magazine recently chronicled what it describes as Best Buy’s “unlikely return from the dead”—and it isn’t the first time that a major publication has used the analogy of reanimation when discussing the Richfield-based retailer.
Best Buy’s stock plummeted about 50 percent in 2012, a tumultuous year in which the retailer navigated a scandal involving its former CEO and an unsuccessful takeover attempt by its founder, all while battling with e-retailers for market share.
Time called attention to a turnaround plan orchestrated by Hubert Joly, who took the reins as CEO in September. Joly announced his so-called “renew blue” turnaround plan in November, and the company’s stock has been on a tear this year. The magazine pointed out that stock activity often reflects investors’ future expectations for a company, rather than current profitability. (Best Buy swung to a loss during the first quarter.)
Time’s “back-from-the-dead” analogy was reminiscent of a previous Bloomberg Businessweek cover story. The Bloomberg cover featured an illustration by Nathan Fox—known for his contributions to Marvel comics—that depicted a horde of zombies clad in Best Buy’s signature blue polo shirts. The image contained the words “Big Box Zombie,” suggesting that the electronics retailer was attempting to come back from the dead.
In its recent story, Time noted some of Best Buy’s latest efforts, including a “store-within-a-store” concept, which involves partnerships with Samsung and Microsoft. The magazine said that Best Buy is “not out of the woods yet”—and while investors are buying into Joly’s turnaround plan, it’s yet to be seen whether consumers will too.