The History of Best Buy Madison in Under 10 Minutes The history of Best Buy is a long and winding road, but can be summed up by the store’s slogan “we’re number one because you’re number one.” The first location opened on May 22nd 1985 with only 25 employees. The company was founded by Richard Schulze who served as its chairman until he retired in June 2012. The stores were originally named Sound of Music before they were renamed to “Best Buy” after a suggestion from founder Schulze’s son, Keith. At the time, there were 21 stores operating under this name. Over time, the company has grown exponentially and now operates over 1,500 locations across North America and employs more than 140 people. The company has been a member of the Fortune 500 every year since 1988 and is one of only 100 U.S. companies that have won a spot in the list consecutively for 29 years!
The first store was opened by founder Richard Schulze on May 22nd 1985 with 25 employees after he purchased what would be his secondhand computer shop which dealt primarily in repairing IBM computers and selling their parts himslf to other retailers who were not as knowledgeable about them, like Radio Shack at the time. The store originally had no name but when Schulze’s son Keith suggested “Best Buy,” it stuck quickly because there weren’t many stores around then that sold audio gear (like stereos), TVs, video games or even home appliances. The name is a play on the phrase “best buy.”
This first store was located in St. Paul, Minnesota and had an annual revenue of about $500,000 per year at its peak which Schulze would split his time between managing this location and overseeing some other stores that were opening up across the country to test out different things like open-ended return policies for customers or higher prices from vendors on certain items instead of cheaper alternatives so people would be more inclined to make their big purchases there because they could trust it wouldn’t just break as soon as they got home with it. The company’s second location opened in Westminster, Colorado in 1987 after being approached by The May Department Stores Company who owned Mervyns and The Diamond’s company of the time. The store was a success and Schulze had its profit within just six months which he then used to open up one more location in San Diego, California with an annual revenue of about $200 million per year at its peak.
In 1993, The May Department Stores Company bought out Best Buy for around $50 billion (which is now called “The Great American Dream Store”) as they were trying to compete with companies like Wal-Mart who hadn’t yet entered the market but were starting to grow rapidly because it allowed them access to all their stores across America instead of having just one or two locations where people could buy things from so customers would be more inclined to go there even if they didn’t have the best prices. The May Department Stores Company was one of a few chains who were trying to compete with Wal-Mart and other competitors like Target but, in 2000 they decided it would be better just to focus on their own brands instead and divest themselves from Best Buy so The Great American Dream Store was sold back for $11 billion dollars less than what it cost them originally which is now known as “The Largest Going Out of Business Sale Ever.”
This led up to Future Shop buying out The Great Canadian Beaver Co. Ltd., an electronics retailer based in Vancouver, Canada for about $580 million because The Great Canadian Beaver Co. Ltd.’s largest shareholder wanted his company to buy into Schulze’s vision and experience: seeing The Great Canadian Beaver Co. Ltd.’s main competitor The Source Forum Inc., close its doors for good in 2001 and Future Shop seemed like the best one to buy it.
Future Shop then joined up with Best Buy because The Great American Dream Store was struggling at this point due to competition from Wal-Mart and Target so they combined forces, splitting into two different companies – The Best Buy Company acquires The Great American Dream Store’s stores in U.S., Canada and Europe while The Future Shop Corporation would remain as a company that sells electronics exclusively in Canada but now under “Best Buy” instead of just “Future Shops.” This led them to rebrand all their current locations from Future Shops back into what we know today as Best.