Best Buy has quietly appointed a new head merchant for car audio during the past month.
Randall Schwartz, the Senior Merchant Connected Car Services, Parts and Accessories has added traditional car stereo products to his duties, according to several industry members.
Best Buy did not respond to our inquiries.
Additionally, Jill Lynch-Wenner who led car audio merchandising for many years has left the company, said industry members.
Scott Fisher is said to remain a car audio buyer for Best Buy.
Industry members said they are optimistic about the changes at Best Buy, as the retailer plans to sharpen its focus on car audio and the connected car.
Schwartz has a long history in car audio installation and is steeped in car audio culture. He was an installer at Best Buy in the 90’s and became the Lead Mobile Installer before working his way up the ranks at the retailer.
Also, Best Buy appears to be stepping up its interest in the Connected Car and its role in the greater Internet of Things where a car can communicate with a home network.
One industry member said, echoing the statements of others, “I believe they are looking to make the department more focused and modern. It’s been neglected over the years.”
Many said a healthy Best Buy car audio business is a benefit to the greater industry.
but the manufuctories will load ’em up then allow bb to blow it out.
Congrats to Randall! This is very well deserved, and a step in the right direction for BBY 12V.
The Best Buy near me has limited items for sale but has removed the installation bay. I enjoyed them doing installs for years because of all the extra money my shop made for re-doing them. Most of their ‘Installers” are kids in their first job. I was not a fan of having to explain to people why we do not sell our products for the same price as Best Buy, but in the end, someone that wants a really good install is not considering a Best Buy anyway. I disagree with this article for saying that a healthy Best Buy is good for everyone, I don’t understand how a giant box store selling products at small store cost is a good thing. We cant compete with their buying power and will never get the deep discount level that they are on. To a true enthusiast of 12 volt, a Best Buy is not even considered as a “go-to” shop, but to the average person just looking at a circular in the paper…..that cheap price is perfect, and it hurts all the small shops around them.
I was recently in a Best Buy. I was surprised they still had a “car audio” section, especially since finding an employee to help me was extremely difficult.
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