No. 2 Best Performer: Best Buy
First-Half Return: +128%
Along with Hewlett-Packard, Best Buy (BBY) just might be the turnaround story of the year. What was once left for dead has risen like the Phoenix, built on a new business model run by new management.
Hubert Joly was brought in on the heels of BBY’s buyout and management fiascos, led by its founder Richard Schulze. Schultze is now basically out of the picture, the company will remain public, and Joly has turned it around with some shrewd moves: first and foremost he changed personnel in the C-suite from stodgy bricks-and-mortar operatives to e-commerce heavyweights, starting with Williams-Somona’s (WSM) Sharon McCollum.
The move jump-started BBY’s move into a bigger online retailing footprint while paving the way to close down older, larger stores and open new, smaller mall-based Best Buy mobile locations. The strategy’s a hit, and BBY just announced a new venture with Microsoft (MSFT) to open store-within-a-store concepts to help sell Windows products. It’s all working for BBY, and the future appears bright.