Best Buy Is Right On Mobile Bet: JPMorgan Analyst

Best Buy'splan to pay $1.3 billion to buy outits British partner in a mobile phone venture and close 11 UK stores was "the right decision," JPMorgan senior retail analyst Chris Horvers told CNBC Monday.

Horvers, who has a "neutral" rating on the electronics retailer, said the "big box" store concept is "a bit of a dinosaur," while mobile "is the fastest growing part of their business and drives an outsize percentage of profits."

Now that Best Buy has bought out Carphone Warehouse and ditched the U.K. stores, it should turn its attention to shrinking the "real estate footprint" of its 1,000 or so U.S. stores, Horvers said. The average size of the "box" is about 35,000 to 40,000 square feet, and the "right size box" should be 20,000 to 25,000 square feet.

Best Buy has another problem, he said: Internet retailers, starting with Amazon. Horvers said Amazon has the advantage of price, because it doesn't charge sales tax, as well as convenience. But Best Buy has people who can explain a new product to buyers, Horvers said, noting that 40 percent of Best Buy's online orders are picked up at the store.


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Chris Horvers does not own Best Buy shares but JPMorgan owns shares and has an investment banking relationship.