Case | HBS Case Collection | September 2005 (Revised February 2007)

Angels and Devils: Best Buy's New Customer Approach (A)

by Anita Elberse, John T. Gourville and Das Narayandas


In November 2004, The Wall Street Journal reported that consumer electronics retailer Best Buy's new customer approach was to shun the "devils" among its customers. The "customer centricity" initiative, which was led by Best Buy's CEO Brad Anderson, was based on an analysis of the purchase histories of several customer groups. The central idea was to revamp stores according to the most lucrative types of customers they served—the "angels" among the company's customers. Encourages an assessment of Best Buy's strategy and, more generally, of the challenges and opportunities in managing customers for profits.

Keywords: History; Customer Relationship Management; Opportunities; Marketing Strategy; Leadership Style; Problems and Challenges; Growth and Development Strategy; Retail Industry; Electronics Industry;


Elberse, Anita, John T. Gourville, and Das Narayandas. "Angels and Devils: Best Buy's New Customer Approach (A)." Harvard Business School Case 506-007, September 2005. (Revised February 2007.)