Best Buy founder Richard Schulze, who offered to buy out the struggling company this week, apparently wants to focus on price cuts and high-end customer service instead of staying the current course of aggressive downsizing. According to The Wall Street Journal's sources, Schulze wants to focus on competing directly with online marketers like Newegg or Amazon in pricing while taking on Apple with more knowledgeable employees. While both these are laudable goals (and major areas of weakness for the company right now), they diverge from the current cost-cutting plan, which has already led to thousands of layoffs and the closure of 50 stores. Sources have also said that Best Buy will announce that it's shrinking and closing more stores in the coming weeks.
Schulze, however, apparently says too much downsizing will lead the company to close altogether, even if his plan runs up costs in the first few years. He is allegedly looking for financing for his deal, which could cost around $8.5 billion, including $1 billion of his own equity. While Best Buy is certainly in dire straits, Schultz was around for much of its decline, before stepping down after a misconduct probe of the company's CEO. Best Buy's interim CEO has also said he will improve customer service, training employees who can "speak with authority about technology."