|TEV||17,975||TEV/EBIT||10||TTM 2019-11-02, in MM, except price, ratios|
|8-K||2021-01-07||Officers, Regulation FD, Exhibits|
|Item 1. Business.|
|Item 1A. Risk Factors.|
|Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.|
|Item 2. Properties.|
|Item 3. Legal Proceedings.|
|Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.|
|Item 5. Market for Registrant&Apos;S Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.|
|Item 6. Selected Financial Data.|
|Item 7. Management&Apos;S Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.|
|Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.|
|Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.|
|Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure.|
|Item 9A. Controls and Procedures.|
|Item 9B. Other Information.|
|Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance.|
|Item 11. Executive Compensation.|
|Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters.|
|Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence.|
|Item 14. Principal Accountant Fees and Services.|
|Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules.|
|Item 16. Form 10 - K Summary.|
|Balance Sheet||Income Statement||Cash Flow|
Rev, G Profit, Net Income
Ops, Inv, Fin
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from to
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(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
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incorporation or organization
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(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
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Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None.
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.Yes No
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.Yes No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.Yes No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Smaller Reporting Company
Emerging Growth Company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes No
The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of July 31, 2020, was approximately $
As of March 18, 2021, the registrant had
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT PURSUANT TO THE
PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995
Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended ("Securities Act"), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended ("Exchange Act"), provide a "safe harbor" for forward-looking statements to encourage companies to provide prospective information about their companies. With the exception of historical information, the matters discussed in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are forward-looking statements and may be identified by the use of words such as "anticipate," "assume," "believe," "estimate," "expect," “guidance,” "intend," "foresee," "outlook," "plan," "project" and other words and terms of similar meaning. Such statements reflect our current view with respect to future events and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions. A variety of factors could cause our future results to differ materially from the anticipated results expressed in such forward-looking statements. Readers should review Item 1A, Risk Factors, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a description of important factors that could cause our future results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements made in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Our forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this report or as of the date they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update our forward-looking statements.
BEST BUY FISCAL 2021 FORM 10-K
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Item 1. Business.
Unless the context otherwise requires, the terms "we," "us" and "our" in this Annual Report on Form 10-K refer to Best Buy Co., Inc. and, as applicable, its consolidated subsidiaries. Any references to our website addresses do not constitute incorporation by reference of the information contained on the websites.
Description of Business
We were incorporated in the state of Minnesota in 1966. We are driven by our purpose to enrich lives through technology. We do that by leveraging our combination of technology and a human touch to meet our customers’ everyday needs, whether they come to us online, visit our stores or invite us into their homes. We have operations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Segments and Geographic Areas
We have two reportable segments: Domestic and International. The Domestic segment is comprised of the operations, including our Best Buy Health business, in all states, districts and territories of the U.S. under various brand names including Best Buy, Best Buy Business, Best Buy Express, Best Buy Health, CST, Geek Squad, GreatCall, Lively, Magnolia and Pacific Kitchen and Home and the domain names bestbuy.com and greatcall.com. The International segment is comprised of all operations in Canada and Mexico under the brand names Best Buy, Best Buy Express, Best Buy Mobile and Geek Squad and the domain names bestbuy.ca and bestbuy.com.mx.
During the third quarter of fiscal 2021 we made the decision to exit our operations in Mexico and expect operations to cease during fiscal 2022. In fiscal 2020 we acquired all of the outstanding shares of Critical Signal Technologies, Inc. (“CST”) and the predictive healthcare technology business of BioSensics, LLC (“BioSensics”). In fiscal 2019 we acquired all of the outstanding shares of GreatCall, Inc. (“GreatCall”). Refer to Note 2, Restructuring, and Note 3, Acquisitions, of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, included in Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional information.
Our Domestic and International segments are managed by leadership teams responsible for all areas of the business. Both segments operate a multi-channel platform that allows customers to come to us online, visit our stores or invite us into their homes.
Development of merchandise and service offerings, pricing and promotions, procurement and supply chain, online and mobile application operations, marketing and advertising and labor deployment across all channels are centrally managed. In addition, support capabilities (for example, human resources, finance, information technology and real estate management) are generally performed at our corporate headquarters. We also have field operations that support retail, services and in-home teams from our corporate headquarters and regional locations. Our retail stores have procedures for inventory management, asset protection, transaction processing, customer relations, store administration, product sales and services, staff training and merchandise display that are largely standardized. All stores generally operate under standard procedures with a degree of flexibility for store management to address certain local market characteristics.
Our Canada and Mexico operations are similar to operations in our Domestic segment.
Merchandise and Services
Our Domestic and International segments have offerings in six revenue categories. The key components of each revenue category are as follows:
Computing and Mobile Phones - computing (including desktops, notebooks and peripherals), mobile phones (including related mobile network carrier commissions), networking, tablets (including e-readers) and wearables (including smartwatches);
Consumer Electronics - digital imaging, health and fitness, home theater, portable audio (including headphones and portable speakers) and smart home;
Appliances - large appliances (including dishwashers, laundry, ovens and refrigerators) and small appliances (including blenders, coffee makers and vacuums);
Entertainment - drones, gaming (including hardware, peripherals and software), movies, music, toys, virtual reality and other software;
Services - consultation, delivery, design, health-related services, installation, memberships, repair, set-up, technical support and warranty-related services; and
Other - beverages, snacks, sundry items and other product offerings within our International segment (including baby, furniture, luggage and sporting goods).
Customers who purchase product online have the choice to pick up product at a Best Buy store (including curbside pick-up at most stores), at an alternative pick-up location or take delivery direct to their homes. Our ship-from-store capability allows us to improve product availability and delivery times for customers. Most merchandise is shipped directly from manufacturers to our distribution centers located throughout the U.S.
Our Canada and Mexico distribution models are similar to our Domestic segment distribution models.
Suppliers and Inventory
Our Domestic and International segments purchase merchandise from a variety of suppliers. In fiscal 2021 our 20 largest suppliers accounted for approximately 80% of the merchandise we purchased, with five suppliers – Apple, Samsung, Hewlett-Packard, LG and Sony – representing approximately 57% of total merchandise purchased. We generally do not have long-term written contracts with our vendors that would require them to continue supplying us with merchandise or that secure any of the key terms of our arrangements.
We carefully monitor and manage our inventory levels in an effort to match quantities on hand with consumer demand as closely as possible. Key elements to our inventory management process include the following: continuous monitoring of historical and projected consumer demand, continuous monitoring and adjustment of inventory receipt levels and pricing, agreements with vendors relating to reimbursement for the cost of markdowns or sales incentives and agreements with vendors relating to return privileges for certain products.
We also have a global sourcing operation to design, develop, test and contract-manufacture our exclusive brands products.
We had 1,126 large-format and 33 small-format stores at the end of fiscal 2021 throughout our Domestic and International segments. Our stores are a vital component of our multi-channel strategy and we believe they are an important competitive advantage. We also have vendor store-within-a-store concepts to allow closer vendor partnerships and a higher quality customer experience. We continuously look for opportunities to optimize our store space, renegotiate leases and selectively open or close locations to support our operations.
Refer to Item 7, Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, for tables reconciling our Domestic and International segment stores open at the end of each of the last three fiscal years.
We own or have the right to use valuable intellectual property such as trademarks, service marks and tradenames, including, but not limited to, Best Buy, Best Buy Essentials, Best Buy Express, Best Buy Health, Best Buy Mobile, CST, Dynex, Geek Squad, GreatCall, Insignia, Jitterbug, Lively, Magnolia, Modal, My Best Buy, Pacific Kitchen and Home, Pacific Sales, Platinum, Rocketfish, 5Star and our Yellow Tag logo.
We have secured domestic and international trademark and service mark registrations for many of our brands. We have also secured patents for many of our inventions. We believe our intellectual property has significant value and is an important factor in the marketing of our company, our stores, our products and our websites.
Our business, like that of many retailers, is seasonal. A large proportion of our revenue and earnings is generated in the fiscal fourth quarter, which includes the majority of the holiday shopping season in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
We fund our business operations through a combination of available cash and cash equivalents and cash flows generated from operations. In addition, our revolving credit facilities are available for additional working capital needs, for general corporate purposes and investment and growth opportunities. Our working capital needs typically increase in the months leading up to the holiday shopping season as we purchase inventory in advance of expected sales.
Our competitors are primarily multi-channel retailers, e-commerce businesses, technology service providers, traditional store-based retailers, vendors and mobile network carriers who offer their products and services directly to customers. We believe our ability to help customers online, in stores and in their homes and to connect technology product and solutions with customer needs provides us key competitive advantages. Some of our competitors have lower cost operating structures and seek to compete for sales primarily on price. We carefully monitor pricing offered by other retailers and service providers, as maintaining price competitiveness is one of our ongoing priorities. In addition, we have price-matching policies that allow customers to request that we match a price offered by certain retail stores and online operators. In order to allow this, we are focused on maintaining efficient operations and leveraging the economies of scale available to us through our global vendor partnerships. We believe our dedicated and knowledgeable people, our integrated online, retail and in-home assets, our broad and curated product assortment, our strong vendor partnerships, our service and support offerings designed to solve real customer needs, our unique ability to showcase technology in distinct store formats and our supply chain are important ways in which we maintain our competitive advantage.
Environmental and Social Impact
We strive to be a good corporate citizen in all of our interactions with stakeholders, including customers, employees, vendor partners, shareholders, the environment and communities in which we operate.
Minimizing carbon emissions in our operations is a priority at Best Buy. We have achieved significant progress toward our carbon-reduction goal of 75 percent by 2030 (over a 2009 baseline), from both operational reductions and renewable sourcing. In fiscal 2021 we signed The Climate Pledge, committing to be carbon neutral across our operations by 2040 – a decade earlier than our previous goal of 2050. We also made our second investment in solar energy that is expected to produce 480,000 MWh of clean electricity per year.
We also have a goal to help our customers reduce carbon emissions by 20 percent by 2030 (over a 2017 baseline), which we estimate will save them $5 billion on utility bills by putting greater emphasis on ENERGY STAR® electronics, appliances and other energy-saving devices. In addition, we collected more than 161 million pounds of consumer electronics and appliances for recycling in fiscal 2021, bringing our total to more than 2 billion pounds.
We are committed to supporting teens from disinvested communities in building brighter futures through technology, training and mentorship. The primary way we do this is through our network of Best Buy Teen Tech Centers, places where teens can develop critical skills through hands-on activities that explore their interests in a variety of areas, such as software engineering, filmmaking, 3D design and music production. Teens gain exposure to new career possibilities and benefit from positive adult and peer relationships. Together with our partners, we are building a network of at least 100 Best Buy Teen Tech Centers, which we estimate will reach 30,000 teens annually. We accelerated our progress towards this goal by making a $40 million donation to the Best Buy Foundation in the third quarter of fiscal 2021. We are currently serving teens at 35 Best Buy Teen Tech Centers.
In fiscal 2021 we committed to provide $44 million by 2025 to expand college preparation and career opportunities for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (“BIPOC”) students, including adding 16 scholarships for Historically Black Colleges and Universities students and increasing scholarship funding for Best Buy Teen Tech Center youth.
We are a founding member of ConnectedMN, a public-private partnership helping disinvested communities across the state of Minnesota get access to the Internet and devices to facilitate distance learning as well as critical support services.
We are also committed to respecting and advancing human rights through our alignment with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Further, across all of the products and services we procure, we seek to mitigate risk, enhance the partnership with our suppliers and create value for all stakeholders through our Responsible Supply Chain Program. We are active members of the Responsible Business Alliance, which allows us to partner with many of the brands we sell, including Apple, Intel, Microsoft and Samsung. Collectively, we embrace a common Supplier Code of Conduct and audit methodology that creates business value by improving working and environmental conditions in the supply chain.
For more information on our environmental and social impact, please see our annual Environmental, Social & Governance Report, found on our website at www.investors.bestbuy.com.
Human Capital Management
We aim to attract, retain and develop the best employees. At the end of fiscal 2021 we employed approximately 102,000 employees in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, comprised of approximately 60% full-time employees, 35% part-time employees and 5% seasonal/occasional employees.
Training and Development
Investing in our employees’ learning and development is a priority at Best Buy. Our learning and development experience combines instructor-led classes and interactive online modules, along with one-on-one mentoring and coaching. In fiscal 2021 our employees each received an average of 40 hours of training and we successfully transitioned all meetings and events to virtual environments due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Inclusion and Diversity
We believe in maintaining a supportive and inclusive culture that values everyone’s talents, life experiences and backgrounds. In fiscal 2021 we committed to making systemic, permanent changes that address social injustices to improve our company and our communities.
We are proud of the diversity within our Board of Directors, comprised of 45% female directors and 36% of directors who are People of Color as of March 18, 2021.
We are committed to filling one out of three new, non-hourly corporate positions with BIPOC (specifically Black, Latinx and Indigenous) employees.
We are also committed to filling one out of three new, non-hourly field roles with women.
In the next two years, our Digital and Technology team committed to hiring 1,000 new employees, of which we commit 30% will be BIPOC or female employees.
We are focused on taking steps to foster inclusion among all employee groups to create parity in retention rates, including transforming the composition of our senior leadership teams to be more in line with our Board of Directors.
We are committed to taking care of our employees and rewarding them for their hard work and dedication through a competitive rewards package of pay, benefits, discounts and opportunities. Our benefits package focuses on total employee well-being: physical, mental, financial and social.
In fiscal 2021 we increased the starting hourly wage for all domestic employees to $15 per hour. And, to improve on pay predictability, a 4% increase in hourly rate replaced short-term incentive compensation for hourly store employees below the leadership level.
In support of the changing lives of our employees due to COVID-19, we enhanced our employee benefits package to include 100% coverage of COVID-related health care expenses, expanded caregiver leave, additional support for backup childcare, tutoring reimbursement and access to physical and mental health virtual visits.
In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of novel coronavirus disease ("COVID-19") as a pandemic. In response to the pandemic, the safety of our employees and customers became a top priority. We proactively closed stores at the beginning of the pandemic and then implemented a contactless, curbside-only operating model, and we continue to offer curbside pick-up at most stores today. When customers returned to shopping in our stores, we instituted a variety of safety procedures to keep our employees and customers safe, including requiring the use of face coverings, requiring employees to complete daily wellness checks and frequent cleaning protocols. We are also limiting the number of customers inside our stores to allow for CDC-recommended social distancing.
We are subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act and its rules and regulations. The Exchange Act requires us to file reports, proxy statements and other information with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). We make available, free of charge on our website, our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, proxy statements and amendments to these reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file these documents with, or furnish them to, the SEC. These documents are posted on our website at www.investors.bestbuy.com. The SEC also maintains a website that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers, including us, that file electronically with the SEC at www.sec.gov.
We also make available, free of charge on our website, our Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation, Amended and Restated By-laws, the Corporate Governance Principles of our Board of Directors ("Board") and our Code of Business Ethics adopted by our Board, as well as the charters of all of our Board's committees: Audit Committee; Compensation and Human Resources Committee; Finance and Investment Policy Committee; and Nominating, Corporate Governance and Public Policy Committee. These documents are posted on our website at www.investors.bestbuy.com.
Copies of any of the above-referenced documents will also be made available, free of charge, upon written request to Best Buy Co., Inc. Investor Relations Department at 7601 Penn Avenue South, Richfield, MN 55423-3645.
Item 1A. Risk Factors.
Described below are certain risks we believe apply to our business and the industry in which we operate. The risks are categorized using the following headings: external, strategic, operational, regulatory and legal, and financial and market. Each of the following risk factors should carefully be considered in conjunction with other information provided in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and in our other public disclosures. The risks described below highlight potential events, trends or other circumstances that could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, liquidity or access to sources of financing and, consequently, the market value of our common stock and debt instruments. These risks could cause our future results to differ materially from historical results and from guidance we may provide regarding our expectations of future financial performance. The risks described below are not an exhaustive list of all the risks we face. There may be others that we have not identified or that we have deemed to be immaterial. All forward-looking statements made by us or on our behalf are qualified by the risks described below.
The COVID-19 pandemic has subjected our business, operations and financial condition to a number of risks, and those risks may intensify or last for an extended period of time.
Risks Related to Sales and Customer Demand: At various times during fiscal 2021, the pandemic and the operational changes we have made have resulted in significant reductions in customer visits to, and spending at, our stores. The extent to which the pandemic continues to impact our business, operations and financial results will depend on numerous evolving factors that we may not be able to accurately predict or assess, including the duration of the pandemic; the extent of the impact on global and regional economies and economic activity, including the duration and magnitude of its impact on unemployment rates, consumer discretionary spending and consumer confidence; actions governments take, including governments’ positions towards monetary and/or fiscal policy, including potential stimulus or the timing and nature of loosening of restrictions imposed in response to the pandemic and its resurgence; actions businesses and individuals take in their ongoing responses to the pandemic; and our ability to successfully navigate those impacts. COVID-19 has caused consumers to allocate a higher share of wallet to consumer electronics. After the pandemic, consumers might shift their spending back towards categories or industries that were affected by the pandemic and away from consumer electronic categories. In addition, the pandemic has caused some products and services to be in high demand, and we may not be able to meet this demand in all of our categories due to product shortages or decisions by our vendors to allocate products to certain customers due to the circumstances resulting from the pandemic, and our vendors may increase prices, each of which may adversely impact our revenue and profitability. The pandemic has, and may continue to, negatively impact our products and services that historically have been more likely to be purchased in a physical store than online.
Risks Related to Operations: The pandemic has forced us to make a number of operational changes. Although we continue to offer a contactless, curbside model for those who prefer to shop that way, we could be required to return to a curbside-only model or close stores due to the current or future resurgence of the pandemic. Our ability to continue to sell our products and services is highly dependent on our ability to maintain the safety of our customers and those employees who are needed to work at our stores and distribution facilities. Failure to maintain the recommended or required safety standards as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local governments could also result in an increased risk of regulatory action or civil litigation. The ability of our employees to work may be significantly impacted by individuals contracting or being exposed to COVID-19. While we are following the requirements of governmental authorities and taking preventative and protective measures to prioritize the safety of our customers and employees, these measures may not be successful, and we may be required to temporarily close distribution centers or stores from time to time, halt certain services or take other measures. Also, if we do not respond appropriately to the pandemic, or if customers do not perceive our response to be adequate for a particular region or our company as a whole, we could suffer damage to our reputation and our brand, which could adversely affect our business in the future. Additionally, while we have continued to prioritize the health and safety of our employees and customers as we continue to operate during the pandemic, we face an increased risk of litigation related to our operating environments. Preparing for and responding to the continuing pandemic could divert management’s attention from our key strategic priorities; increase costs as we prioritize health and safety matters for our employees and customers; cause us to reduce, delay, alter or abandon initiatives that may otherwise increase our long-term value; or otherwise disrupt our business operations.
Risks Related to Profitability: To the extent COVID-19 continues to cause fundamental shifts in the channels in which customers choose to engage us, our profitability and our profitability rate may be adversely impacted. For example, at various times in fiscal 2021, we continued to pay rent for a number of physical stores that were closed and not generating sales (and we may need to do so again in the future), our online mix of products and services generally produces lower gross profit rates than in-store sales, and we offer some products and services that historically are more likely to be purchased in a physical store than online. We also do not offer or have limited digital and online offerings for certain products and services that have higher profitability rates. To the extent we are not able to maintain or increase the level of customer traffic in our stores or maintain or enable a more profitable mix of sales in our digital and online channels, our profitability and profitability rates may be materially negatively impacted. We have also incurred additional costs due to the operational changes we have made in response to the pandemic, and these costs have adversely impacted our profitability. As a result of disruptions to our supply chain, primarily due to mandatory shutdowns in locations where our products are manufactured, we are experiencing, and may continue to experience, increased costs for shipping and transportation resources. If we are unable to manage these costs and supply chain disruptions, our profitability may be adversely impacted. Even after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, we could experience a longer-term impact on our costs, for example, the need for enhanced health and hygiene requirements in one or more regions in attempts to counteract future outbreaks. In the event of decreased store traffic, certain of our stores may not generate revenue sufficient to meet operating expenses, which could adversely affect the value of our owned and leased properties, potentially requiring us to record more significant non-cash impairment charges in future periods.
Risks Related to Our Debt and Global Financing Markets: Although we repaid in full the amounts we had borrowed under our revolving credit facility during fiscal 2021, we may find it necessary to increase our cash position and our short-term debt in the future in response to further resurgences of COVID-19. In the event we are required to raise capital, our access to and cost of financing will depend on, among other things, global economic conditions, conditions in the global financing markets, the availability of sufficient amounts of financing, our prospects, our credit ratings, and our business and industry outlook. There is no guarantee that debt or equity financings will be available in the future to fund our obligations, or will be available on terms consistent with our expectations.
COVID-19, and the volatile regional and global economic conditions stemming from the pandemic, as well as reactions to future pandemics or resurgences of COVID-19, could also precipitate or aggravate the other risk factors that we have identified in this section, which in turn could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, liquidity, results of operations (including revenues and profitability) and/or stock price. Further, COVID-19 may also affect our operating and financial results in a manner that is not presently known to us or that we currently do not consider to present significant risks to our operations.
Macroeconomic pressures in the markets in which we operate, including, but not limited to, the effects of COVID-19, may adversely affect consumer spending and our financial results.
To varying degrees, our products and services are sensitive to changes in macroeconomic conditions that impact consumer spending. As a result, consumers may be affected in many different ways, including, for example:
• whether or not they make a purchase;
• their choice of brand, model or price-point;
• how frequently they upgrade or replace their devices; and
• their appetite for complementary services (for example, protection plans).
Real GDP growth, consumer confidence, the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation, employment levels, oil prices, interest rates, tax rates, availability of consumer financing, housing market conditions, foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, costs for items such as fuel and food and other macroeconomic trends can adversely affect consumer demand for the products and services that we offer. Geopolitical issues around the world and how our markets are positioned can also impact macroeconomic conditions and could have a material adverse impact on our financial results.
Future outbreaks, epidemics and/or pandemics could adversely impact our operating results.
The risk of or actual occurrence of national, international or global outbreaks, epidemics, and/or pandemics, could have a material adverse impact on our business, including but not limited to, our sales and customer demand, operations and supply chain, financial results, capital financing or other financing activities and all other stated risks identified in these risk factors.
Catastrophic events could adversely affect our operating results.
The risk or actual occurrence of various catastrophic events could have a material adverse effect on our financial performance. Such events may be caused by, for example:
• natural disasters or extreme weather events;
• diseases or pandemics (including COVID-19) that have affected and may continue to affect our employees, customers or partners;
• floods, fires or other catastrophes affecting our properties, employees or customers; or
• terrorism, civil unrest, mass violence or violent acts, or other conflicts.
In recent years, we have observed an increase in the number and severity of certain catastrophic events in many of our markets. Such events can adversely affect our work force and prevent employees and customers from reaching our stores and properties and can disrupt or disable portions of our supply chain and distribution network. They can also affect our information technology systems, resulting in disruption to various aspects of our operations, including our ability to transact with customers and fulfill orders.
Further, external social activism, tension and violence resulting from external events impacting social justice and inequality, and our position and response to them, may adversely affect our employees, customers, properties and the communities in which we operate. As a consequence of these or other catastrophic events, we may endure interruption to our operations or losses of property, equipment or inventory, which could adversely affect our revenue and profitability.
Many of the products we sell are highly susceptible to technological advancement, product life cycle fluctuations and changes in consumer preferences.
We operate in a highly and increasingly dynamic industry sector fueled by constant technology innovation and disruption. This manifests itself in a variety of ways: the emergence of new products and categories, rapid maturation of categories, cannibalization of categories, declining price points and product replacement and upgrade cycles.
This rapid pace of change can be hard to predict and manage, and there is no guarantee we can effectively do this all the time. If we fail to interpret, predict and react to these changes in a timely and effective manner, the consequences can include: failure to offer the products and services that our customers want; excess inventory, which may require heavy discounting or liquidation; inability to secure adequate access to brands or products for which consumer demand exceeds supply; delays in adapting our merchandising, marketing or supply chain capabilities to accommodate changes in product trends; and damage to our brand and reputation. In addition, consumer preferences may be influenced even further as the social and economic environment navigates through the COVID-19 pandemic. These and other similar factors could have a material adverse impact on our revenue and profitability.
We face strong competition from multi-channel retailers, e-commerce businesses, technology service providers, traditional store-based retailers, vendors and mobile network carriers, which directly affects our revenue and profitability.
While we constantly strive to offer consumers the best value, the retail sector is highly competitive. Price is of great importance to most customers and price transparency and comparability continues to increase, particularly as a result of digital technology. The ability of consumers to compare prices on a real-time basis puts additional pressure on us to maintain competitive prices. We compete with many other local, regional, national and international retailers and technology service providers, as well as some of our vendors and mobile network carriers that market their products directly to consumers. Competition may also result from new entrants into the markets we serve, offering products and/or services that compete with us.
The retail sector has experienced an immense increase in sales initiated online and using mobile applications, as well as online sales for both in-store or curbside pick-up. Online and multi-channel retailers continue to focus on delivery services, with customers increasingly seeking faster, guaranteed delivery times and low-cost or free shipping. Our ability to be competitive on delivery times and delivery costs depends on many factors, and our failure to successfully manage these factors and offer competitive delivery options could negatively impact the demand for our products and our profit margins. Because our business strategy is based on offering superior levels of customer service and a full range of services to complement the products we offer, our cost structure might be higher than some of our competitors, and this, in conjunction with price transparency, could put pressure on our margins. As these and related competitive factors evolve, we may experience material adverse pressure on our revenue and profitability.
If we fail to attract, retain and engage appropriately qualified employees, including employees in key positions, our operations and profitability may be harmed. In addition, changes in market compensation rates may adversely affect our profitability.
Our performance is highly dependent on attracting, retaining and engaging appropriately qualified employees in our stores, service centers, distribution centers, field and corporate offices. Our strategy of offering high-quality services and assistance for our customers requires a highly trained and engaged workforce. The turnover rate in the retail sector is relatively high and there is an ongoing need to recruit and train new employees. Factors that affect our ability to maintain sufficient numbers of qualified employees include, for example, employee engagement, our reputation, unemployment rates, competition from other employers, availability of qualified personnel and our ability to offer appropriate compensation and benefit packages. Failure to recruit or retain qualified employees in the future may impair our efficiency and effectiveness and our ability to pursue growth opportunities. In addition, a significant amount of turnover of our executive team or other employees in key positions with specific knowledge relating to us, our operations and our industry may negatively impact our operations.
We operate in a competitive labor market and there is a risk that market increases in compensation and employer-provided benefits could have a material adverse effect on our profitability. Our increase in the starting hourly wage for all domestic employees implemented in fiscal 2021, as well as continued market pressure to increase employee hourly wage rates, increased cost pressure on employer-provided benefits. Our ability to implement corresponding adjustments within our labor model and compensation and benefit packages could have a material adverse impact to the profitability of our business.
Our strategy to expand into new products, services and technologies brings new business, financial and regulatory risks.
As we introduce new products and services, using new technologies and applications, we may have limited experience in these newer markets and regulatory environments and our customers may not like our new value propositions. These offerings may present new and difficult technology challenges, and we may be subject to claims if customers of these offerings experience service disruptions, failures or other issues. For example, as our value proposition evolves to support the healthcare industry with technology, we are subject to privacy and information security rules, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and/or subject to increased potential liability risk.
This expanded risk increases the complexity of our business and places significant responsibility on our management, employees, operations, systems, technical expertise, financial resources, and internal financial and regulatory control and reporting functions. In addition, new initiatives we test through trials and pilots may not scale or grow effectively or as we expected, which could limit our growth and negatively affect our operating results. They may also involve significant laws or regulations that are beyond our current expertise.
In fiscal 2021 we continued to invest in our health strategy and our underlying purpose to enrich lives through technology. The new health-related services offered might expose us to liability risk resulting from failures in the fulfillment of these services. In addition, the services and systems used could expose us to customer data privacy and information security risks, as well as business or system interruption risks. These and other related issues could have a material adverse impact on our financial results.
Our focus on services as a strategic priority exposes us to certain risks that could have a material adverse impact on our revenue and profitability as well as our reputation.
We offer a full range of services that complement our product offerings, including consultation, delivery, design, installation, memberships, protection plans, repair, set-up, technical support, and health, safety and caregiving monitoring and support. Designing, marketing and executing these services is subject to incremental risks. These risks include, for example:
• pressure on services attachment as a result of the sustained increase in consumer desire to purchase product offerings online and through mobile applications;
• increased labor expense to fulfill our customer promises;
• pressure on traditional labor models to meet the evolving landscape of offerings and customer needs;
• increased risk of errors or omissions in the fulfillment of services;
• unpredictable extended warranty failure rates and related expenses;
• employees in transit using company vehicles to visit customer locations and employees being present in customer homes, which may increase our scope of liability;
• the potential for increased scope of liability relating to managed services offerings;
• employees having access to customer devices, including the information held on those devices, which may increase our responsibility for the security of those devices and the privacy of the data they hold;
• the engagement of third parties to assist with some aspects of construction and installation, and the potential responsibility for the actions they undertake;
• the risk that in-home services could be more adversely impacted by inclement weather, health and safety concerns, and catastrophic events; and
• increased risk of non-compliance with new laws and regulations applicable to these services.
Our reliance on key vendors and mobile network carriers subjects us to various risks and uncertainties which could affect our revenue and profitability.
We source the products we sell from a wide variety of domestic and international vendors. In fiscal 2021 our 20 largest suppliers accounted for approximately 80% of the merchandise we purchased, with five suppliers - Apple, Samsung, Hewlett-Packard, LG and Sony - representing approximately 57% of total merchandise purchased. We generally do not have long-term written contracts with our vendors that would require them to continue supplying us with merchandise. Our profitability depends on our securing acceptable terms with our vendors for, among other things, the price of merchandise we purchase from them, funding for various forms of promotional programs, payment terms, allocations of merchandise, development of compelling assortments of products, operation of vendor-focused shopping experiences within our stores and terms covering returns and factory warranties. While we believe we offer capabilities that these vendors value and depend upon to varying degrees, our vendors may be able to leverage their competitive advantages - for example, their financial strength, the strength of their brands with customers, their own stores or online channels or their relationships with other retailers - to our commercial disadvantage. The potential adverse impact of these factors can be amplified by price transparency (which can limit our flexibility to modify selling prices) and a highly competitive retail environment. Generally, our ability to negotiate favorable terms with our vendors is more difficult with vendors where our purchases represent a smaller proportion of their total revenues and/or when there is less competition for those products. In addition, vendors may decide to limit or cease allowing us to offer certain categories, focus their marketing efforts on alternative channels or make unfavorable changes to our financial or other terms.
We are also dependent on a relatively small number of mobile carriers to allow us to offer mobile devices with carrier connections. The competitive strategies utilized by mobile network carriers can have a material impact on our business, especially with ongoing consolidation in the mobile industry. For example, if carriers change the structure of contracts, upgrade terms, qualification requirements, monthly fee plans, cancellation fees or service levels, the volume of upgrades and new contracts we sign with customers may be reduced, adversely affecting our revenue and profitability. In addition, our carriers may also serve customers through their own stores, websites, mobile applications and call centers or through other competing retail channels.
Demand for the products and services we sell could decline if we fail to maintain positive brand perception and recognition through a focus on consumer experience.
We operate a portfolio of brands with a commitment to customer service and innovation. We believe that recognition and the reputation of our company and our brands are key to our success. Operational factors, such as failure to deliver high quality services, uncompetitive pricing, failure to meet delivery promises or business interruptions, could damage our reputation. External factors, such as negative public remarks or accusations, could also be damaging. The ubiquity of social media means that customer feedback and other information about our company are shared with a broad audience in a manner that is easily accessible and rapidly disseminated. Damage to the perception or reputation of our brands could result in, among other things, declines in revenues and customer loyalty, decreases in gift card and service plan sales, lower employee retention and productivity and vendor relationship issues, all of which could materially adversely affect our revenue and profitability.
We are subject to risks associated with company transformation.
Our transformational activities within the organization are necessary to fully support our strategic vision for future customer and income growth, including our Building the New Blue Strategy, and any decreased capability to undertake those activities may have a material adverse impact on achieving that strategy.
Any limitations in organizational, financial or operational infrastructure could decrease our ability to realize transformational objectives supporting our key strategic initiatives relating to our development of competitive advantages, creating solutions for customers and providing differentiated value. If we do not have access to, or fail to dedicate, the appropriate people, management focus and resources to implementing these transformational objectives, our long-term growth and profitability could be adversely affected.
The COVID-19 pandemic has further demonstrated the necessity for transformation, and as a result, has increased pressure on the timeline of these activities. The increased pressure to transform quickly and accelerate the implementation of the strategy could have an adverse impact on the overall implementation performance of these objectives and our long-term growth and profitability. As an example, we have seen that our online mix of products and services generally produces lower profit margins than in-store sales. Therefore, the continued transformation to a more digitally-driven business after COVID-19 could put sustained pressure on our costs and profitability.
Failure to effectively manage strategic ventures, alliances or acquisitions could have a negative impact on our business.
We may decide to enter into new joint ventures, partnerships, alliances or acquisitions with third parties (collectively, "new ventures"). Assessing the viability of new ventures is typically subject to significant uncertainty, and the success of such new ventures can be adversely affected by many factors, including, for example:
• different and incremental business risks of the new venture not identified in our diligence assessments;
• failure to motivate and retain key employees of the new venture;
• uncertainty of forecasting financial performance;
• failure to integrate aspects of the new venture into our existing business, such as new product or service offerings or information technology systems;
• failure to maintain appropriate internal control over financial reporting;
• failure to generate expected synergies, such as cost reductions;
• unforeseen changes in the business environment of the new venture;
• disputes or strategic differences with other third-party participants in the new venture; and
• adverse impacts on relationships with vendors and other key partners of our existing business or the new venture.
If new ventures are unsuccessful, our liquidity and profitability could be materially adversely affected, and we may be required to recognize material impairments to goodwill and other assets acquired. New ventures may also divert our financial resources and management's attention from other important areas of our business.
Failure to effectively manage our real estate portfolio may negatively impact our operating results.
Effective management of our real estate portfolio is critical to our multi-channel strategy. Failure to identify and secure suitable locations for our stores and other facilities could impair our ability to compete successfully and our profitability. Most of our properties are leased, of which some are subject to long-term leases. As such, it is essential that we effectively evaluate a range of factors that may influence the success of our long-term real estate strategy. Such factors include, for example:
• changing patterns of customer consumption and behavior, particularly in light of an evolving multi-channel environment;
• the location and appropriate number of stores, supply chain and other facilities in our portfolio;
• the interior layout, format and size of our stores;
• the products and services we offer at each store;
• the local competitive positioning, trade area demographics and economic factors for each of our stores;
• the primary term lease commitment and long-term lease option coverage for each store; and
• the occupancy cost of our stores relative to market rents.
If we fail to effectively evaluate these factors or negotiate appropriate terms, or if unforeseen changes arise, the consequences could include, for example:
• closing stores and abandoning the related assets, while retaining the financial commitments of the leases;
• incurring significant costs to remodel or transform our stores;
• operating stores, supply chain or service locations that no longer meet the needs of our business; and
• bearing excessive lease expenses.
These consequences could have a material adverse impact on our profitability, cash flows and liquidity.
For leased property, the financial impact of exiting a location can vary greatly depending on, among other factors, the terms of the lease, the condition of the local real estate market, demand for the specific property, our relationship with the landlord and the availability of potential sub-lease tenants. It is difficult for us to influence some of these factors and the costs of exiting a property can be significant. In addition to rent, we are typically still responsible for taxes, insurance and common area maintenance charges for vacant properties until the lease commitment expires or is terminated. Similarly, when we enter into a contract with a tenant to sub-lease property, we usually retain our obligations as the master lessee. This leaves us at risk for any remaining liability in the event of default by the sub-lease tenant.
Interruptions and other factors affecting our supply chain, including in-bound deliveries from our vendors, may adversely affect our business.
Our supply chain is a critical part of our operations, particularly in light of industry trends and initiatives, such as ship-from-store and the emphasis on fast delivery when purchasing online. We depend on our vendors' abilities to deliver products to us at the right location, at the right time and in the right quantities. We also depend on third parties for the operation of certain aspects of our supply chain network. The factors that can adversely affect these aspects of our operations include, but are not limited to:
• interruptions to our delivery capabilities;
• failure of third parties to meet our standards or commitments;
• disruptions to our systems and the need to implement new systems;
• limitations in capacity;
• consolidation or business failures in the transportation and distribution sectors;
• labor strikes or slow-downs impacting ports or any other aspect of our supply chain;
• diseases, pandemics (including COVID-19), outbreaks and other health-related concerns;
• damages or other loss to products;
• increasing transportation costs; and
• the COVID-19 pandemic and disruptions as a result of efforts to control or mitigate the pandemic (such as facility closures, governmental orders, outbreaks, and/or transportation capacity).
It is important that we maintain optimal levels of inventory in each store and distribution center and respond rapidly to shifting demands. Any disruption to, or inefficiency in, our supply chain network could damage our revenue and profitability. The risks associated with our dependence on third parties are greater for small parcel home deliveries because of the relatively small number of carriers with the scope and capacity required by our business. The continuing growth of online purchases for delivery increases our exposure to these risks. If we fail to manage these risks effectively, we could experience a material adverse impact on our reputation, revenue and profitability.
We utilize third-party vendors for certain aspects of our operations, and any material disruption in our relationship or their services may have an adverse impact on our business.
We engage key third-party business partners to support various functions of our business, including, but not limited to, information technology, web hosting and cloud-based services, human resource operations, customer loyalty programs, promotional financing and customer loyalty credit cards, gift cards, customer warranty, delivery and installation, technical support, transportation and insurance programs. Any material disruption in our relationships with key third-party business partners or any disruption in the services or systems provided or managed by third parties could impact our revenues and cost structure and hinder our operations, particularly if a disruption occurs during peak revenue periods.
Our exclusive brands products are subject to several additional product, supply chain and legal risks that could affect our operating results.
Sales of our exclusive brands products, which include Best Buy Essentials, Dynex, Insignia, Modal, Platinum and Rocketfish branded products, as well as products such as Jitterbug and Lively branded products, represent an important component of our product offerings and our revenue and profitability. Most of these products are manufactured by contract manufacturers based in southeast Asia. This arrangement exposes us to the following additional potential risks, which could have a material adverse effect on our operating results:
• we have greater exposure and responsibility to consumers for warranty replacements and repairs as a result of exclusive brands product defects, and our recourse to contract manufacturers for such warranty liabilities may be limited in foreign jurisdictions;
• we may be subject to regulatory compliance and/or product liability claims relating to personal injury, death or property damage caused by exclusive brands products, some of which may require us to take significant actions, such as product recalls;
• we have experienced and are likely to continue to experience disruptions in manufacturing and logistics due to COVID-19, and we may experience disruptions in manufacturing or logistics in the future due to inconsistent and unanticipated order patterns, our inability to develop long-term relationships with key manufacturers, other diseases or pandemics or unforeseen natural disasters;
• we may not be able to locate manufacturers that meet our internal standards, whether for new exclusive brands products or for migration of the manufacturing of products from an existing manufacturer;
• we may be subject to a greater risk of inventory obsolescence as we do not generally have return-to-vendor rights;
• we are subject to developing and often-changing labor and environmental laws for the manufacturing of products in foreign countries, and we may be unable to conform to new rules or interpretations in a timely manner;
• we may be subject to claims by technology or other intellectual property owners if we inadvertently infringe upon their patents or other intellectual property rights, or if we fail to pay royalties owed on our exclusive brands products;
• our operations may be disrupted by trade disputes or excessive tariffs, including any future trade disputes or future phases of trade negotiations with China, and we may not be able to source alternatives quickly enough to avoid interruptions in product supply;
• we may be unable to obtain or adequately protect patents and other intellectual property rights on our exclusive brands products or manufacturing processes; and
• regulations regarding disclosure of efforts to identify the country of origin of “conflict minerals” in certain portions of our supply chain could increase the cost of doing business and, depending on the findings of our country-of-origin inquiry, could have an adverse effect on our reputation.
Maintaining consistent quality, availability and competitive pricing of our exclusive brands products helps us build and maintain customer loyalty, generate revenue and achieve acceptable margins. Failure to maintain these factors could have a significant adverse impact on the demand for exclusive brands products and the profits we are able to generate from them.
We are subject to risks associated with vendors that source products outside of the U.S.
Our ability to find qualified vendors who can supply products in a timely and efficient manner that meet our internal standards of quality and safety can be difficult, especially with respect to goods sourced from outside the U.S. Risks such as political or economic instability, cross-border trade restrictions or tariffs, merchandise quality issues, product safety concerns, work stoppages, port delays, foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, transportation capacity and costs, inflation, civil unrest, natural disasters, outbreaks of pandemics (including COVID-19) and other factors relating to foreign trade are beyond our control. Vendors may also fail to invest adequately in design, production or distribution facilities, and may reduce their customer incentives, advertising and promotional activities or change their pricing policies. These and other related issues could have a material adverse impact on our financial results.
We rely heavily on our information technology systems for our key business processes. Any failure or interruption in these systems could have a material adverse impact on our business.
The effective and efficient operation of our business is dependent on our information technology systems and those of our information technology vendors. We rely heavily on these information technology systems to manage all key aspects of our business, including demand forecasting, purchasing, supply chain management, point-of-sale processing, services fulfillment, staff planning and deployment, financial management, reporting and forecasting and safeguarding critical and sensitive information.
Our information technology systems and those of our partners are subject to damage or interruption from power outages, computer and telecommunications failures, computer viruses, worms, other malicious computer programs, denial-of-service attacks, security breaches (through cyber-attacks and other malicious actions), catastrophic events (such as fires, tornadoes, earthquakes and hurricanes) and usage errors by our employees. The failure or interruption of these information systems, data centers or their backup systems could significantly disrupt our business and cause higher costs and lost revenues and could threaten our ability to remain in operation.
We face a heightened risk of cybersecurity attacks or data security incidents and are more dependent on internet and telecommunications access and capabilities.
We utilize complex information technology platforms to operate our websites and mobile applications. If we fail to secure these systems against attacks or fail to effectively upgrade and maintain our hardware, software, network and system infrastructure and improve the efficiency and resiliency of our systems, it could cause system interruptions and delays. Disruptions to these services, such as those caused by unforeseen traffic levels, malicious attacks, other technical difficulties or events outside of our control, such as natural disasters, power or telecommunications failures or loss of critical data, could prevent us from accepting and fulfilling customer orders for products or services, which could cause us to forgo material revenues, incur material costs and adversely affect our reputation.
Further, as our online sales have increased and have become critical to our growth, and as we have shifted to remote working arrangements for many employees, the risk of any interruption of our information technology system capabilities is heightened, as well as the risk that customer demand exceeds the capacity of our online operations. Any such interruption or capacity constraint could result in a deterioration of our ability to process online sales, provide customer service or perform other necessary business functions.
Failure to prevent or effectively respond to a breach of the privacy or security of our customer, employee, vendor or company information could expose us to substantial costs and reputational damage, as well as litigation and enforcement actions.
Our business involves the collection, use and storage of personal information, including payment card information, as well as confidential information regarding our employees, vendors and other company information. We also share personal and confidential information with suppliers and other third parties, as well as use third-party technology and systems which transmit information for a variety of activities. We have been the target of attempted cyber-attacks and other security threats, and we may be subject to breaches of our information technology systems. While we engage in significant data-protection efforts, criminal activity, such as cyber-attacks, lapses in our controls or the intentional or negligent actions of employees, business associates or third parties, may undermine our privacy and security measures, and, as a result, unauthorized parties may obtain access to our data systems and misappropriate employee, customer and other confidential data, or authorized parties may use or share personal information in an inappropriate manner. Furthermore, because the methods used to obtain unauthorized access change frequently and may not be immediately detected, we may be unable to anticipate such attacks or promptly and effectively respond to them. Any compromise of our customer information or other confidential information could have a material adverse effect on our reputation or our relationships with our customers and partners, which may in turn have a negative impact on our revenue and may expose us to material costs, penalties and claims.
Sensitive customer data may also be present on customer-owned devices entrusted to us for service and repair. Vulnerable code on products sold or serviced, including our exclusive brands, may also result in a compromise of customer privacy or security. Our efforts to protect against such compromises and ensure appropriate handling of customer data on devices we manufacture, sell and service may not be effective, resulting in potential liability and damage to our customer relationships.
Increasing costs associated with information security and privacy, such as increased investment in technology and qualified staff, costs of compliance, costs resulting from fraud and costs of cyber and privacy insurance, could cause our business and results of operations to suffer materially. Additionally, new laws, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act, are expanding our obligations to protect the privacy and security of customer data, requiring additional resources and creating incremental risk arising from a potential breach. In addition, any compromise of our data security may materially increase the costs we incur to protect against such breaches and could subject us to additional legal risk.
Product safety and quality concerns could have a material adverse impact on our revenue and profitability.
If the products we sell fail to meet applicable safety standards or our customers' expectations regarding safety and quality, we could be exposed to increased legal risk and our reputation may be damaged. Failure to take appropriate actions in relation to product recalls could lead to breaches of laws and regulations and leave us susceptible to government enforcement actions or private litigation. Recalls of products, particularly when combined with lack of available alternatives or difficulty in sourcing sufficient volumes of replacement products, could also have a material adverse impact on our revenue and profitability.
Changes to labor or employment laws or regulations could have an adverse impact on our costs and impair the viability of our operating model.
As an employer of approximately 102,000 people in a large number of different jurisdictions, we are subject to risks related to employment laws and regulations including, for example:
• the organization of unions and related regulations that affect the nature of labor relations, changes to which the National Labor Relations Board frequently considers;
• laws that impact the relationship between the company and independent contractors; and
• laws that impact minimum wage, sick time, paid leave and scheduling requirements that could directly or indirectly increase our payroll costs and/or impact the level of service we are able to provide.
Changes to laws and regulations such as these could adversely impact our reputation, our ability to continue operations and our profitability.
Regulatory and Legal Risks
We are subject to statutory, regulatory and legal developments which could have a material adverse impact on our business.
Our statutory, regulatory and legal environments expose us to complex compliance and litigation risks that could have a material adverse effect on our operations. Some of the most significant compliance and litigation risks we face include, but are not limited to:
• the difficulty of complying with sometimes conflicting statutes and regulations in local, national or international jurisdictions;
• the potential for unexpected costs related to compliance with new or existing environmental legislation or international agreements affecting energy, carbon emissions, electronics recycling and water or product materials;
• the challenges of ensuring compliance with applicable product compliance laws and regulations with respect to both the products we sell and contract to manufacture, including laws and regulations related to product safety and product transport;
• the financial, operational and business impact of new regulations governing data privacy and security;
• the impact of other new or changing statutes and regulations, including, but not limited to, financial reform; National Labor Relations Board rule changes; healthcare reform; contracted worker labor laws; corporate governance matters; escheatment rules; rules governing pricing, content, distribution, copyright, mobile communications, electronic device certification or payment services; and/or other as yet unknown legislation that could affect how we operate and execute our strategies as well as alter our expense structure;
• the impact of litigation trends, including class-action lawsuits involving consumers and shareholders, and labor and employment matters; and
• the impact of the transition in presidential administrations and changes in the federal executive and legislative branches on the development, or changes in, laws, regulations and policies, such as economic, fiscal, tax, retail, labor and social policies.
The impact of the potential implementation of more restrictive trade policies, higher tariffs or the renegotiation of existing trade agreements in the U.S. or countries where we sell our products and services or procure products could have a material adverse effect on our business. In particular, future trade disputes or future phases of trade negotiations with China could lead to the imposition of tariffs or other trade actions that could adversely affect our supply chain and our business and could require us to take action to mitigate those effects, as we did in fiscal 2020.
Further, the impact of potential changes in U.S. or other countries' tax laws and regulations or evolving interpretations of existing laws, including additional guidance and legislation related to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act, could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Regulatory activity that affects the retail sector has grown in recent years, increasing the risk of fines and additional operating costs associated with compliance. Additionally, defending against lawsuits and other proceedings may involve significant expense and divert management's attention and resources from other matters.
Further, as the COVID-19 pandemic and community spread of the virus continues to persist, we will continue to face risk and uncertainty as it relates to state and local government orders, which may restrict how we do business and potentially impact our performance and profitability.
Our international activities are subject to many of the same risks as described above, as well as to risks associated with the legislative, judicial, regulatory, political, economic and cultural factors specific to the countries or regions in which we operate.
We operate retail locations in Canada, and during the third quarter of fiscal 2021, we made the decision to exit our operations in Mexico. In addition, most of our exclusive brands products are manufactured by contract manufacturers based in southeast Asia. We also have wholly owned legal entities registered in various other foreign countries, including Barbados, Bermuda, China, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, the Republic of Mauritius and the U.K. During fiscal 2021 our International segment's operations generated 8% of our revenue. In general, the risk factors identified above also have relevance to our International operations. In addition, our International operations also expose us to other risks, including those related to, for example:
• political conditions and geopolitical events, including war and terrorism;
• economic conditions, including monetary and fiscal policies and tax rules, as well as foreign exchange rate risk;
• rules governing international trade and potential changes to trade policies or trade agreements and ownership of foreign entities;
• government-imposed travel restrictions or warnings, whether in response to the COVID-19 pandemic or otherwise, and differing responses of governmental authorities to pandemics and other global events;
• cultural differences that we may be unable to anticipate or respond to appropriately;
• different rules or practices regarding employee relations, including the existence of works councils or unions;
• difficulties in enforcing intellectual property rights;
• difficulties encountered in exerting appropriate management oversight to operations in remote locations; and
• risks we may encounter in exiting our operations in Mexico.
These factors could significantly disrupt our International operations and have a material adverse effect on our revenue and profitability and could lead us to incur material impairments and other exit costs.
Financial and Market Risks
Failure to effectively manage our costs could have a material adverse effect on our profitability.
As discussed above, our revenues are susceptible to volatility from various sources which can lead to periods of flat or declining revenues. However, some of our operating costs are fixed and/or are subject to multi-year contracts. Some elements of our costs may be higher than our competitors' because of, for example, our extended retail footprint and structure, our hourly pay structure, our differentiated service offerings or our levels of customer service. Accordingly, our ongoing drive to reduce costs and increase efficiency represents a strategic imperative. Failure to successfully manage our costs could have a material adverse impact on our profitability and curtail our ability to fund our growth or other critical initiatives.
We are highly dependent on the cash flows and net earnings we generate during our fiscal fourth quarter, which includes the majority of the holiday shopping season.
A large proportion of our revenue and earnings is generated in the fiscal fourth quarter, which includes the majority of the holiday shopping season. In addition, the holiday shopping season also incorporates many other unpredictable factors, such as the level of competitive promotional activity, new product release activity and customer buying patterns, which makes it difficult to forecast and react to these factors quickly. Unexpected events or developments, such as natural or man-made disasters, changes in consumer demand, economic factors, product sourcing issues, cyber-attacks, failure or interruption of management information systems or disruptions in services or systems provided or managed by third-party vendors could significantly disrupt our operations. In addition, during fiscal 2021, we extended the holiday shopping season starting in mid-October, while closing stores on Thanksgiving Day. These changes could bring additional unknown risks related to the sales performance of the holiday shopping season. As a result of these factors, there is risk that our fiscal fourth quarter and annual results could be adversely affected.
Economic, regulatory and other developments could adversely affect our ability to offer attractive promotional financing to our customers and adversely affect the profits we generate from these programs.
We offer promotional financing and credit cards issued by third-party banks that manage and directly extend credit to our customers. Customers choosing promotional financing can receive extended payment terms and low- or no-interest financing on qualifying purchases. We believe our financing programs generate incremental revenue from customers who prefer the financing terms to other available forms of payment or otherwise need access to financing in order to make purchases. Approximately 25% of our fiscal 2021 revenue was transacted using one of the company's branded cards. In addition, we earn profit-share income and share in any losses from certain of our banking partners based on the performance of the programs. The income or loss we earn in this regard is subject to numerous factors, including the volume and value of transactions, the terms of promotional financing offers, bad debt rates, interest rates, the regulatory and competitive environment and expenses of operating the program. Adverse changes to any of these factors could impair our ability to offer these programs to customers and reduce customer purchases and our ability to earn income from sharing in the profits of the programs.
In addition, we may experience pressure from lower profit-sharing revenue related to our private label and co-branded credit card arrangements, as the economic ramifications of COVID-19 may lead to higher credit card defaults over time, which would have an adverse effect on our profitability.
Constraints in the capital markets or our vendor credit terms may have a material adverse impact on our liquidity.
We need sufficient sources of liquidity to fund our working capital requirements, service our outstanding indebtedness and finance business opportunities. Without sufficient liquidity, we could be forced to curtail our operations or we may not be able to pursue business opportunities. The principal sources of our liquidity are funds generated from operating activities, available cash and liquid investments, credit facilities, other debt arrangements and trade payables. Our liquidity could be materially adversely impacted if our vendors reduce payment terms and/or impose tighter credit limits. If our sources of liquidity do not satisfy our requirements, we may need to seek additional financing. The future availability of financing will depend on a variety of factors, such as economic and market conditions, the regulatory environment for banks and other financial institutions, the availability of credit, our credit ratings and our reputation with potential lenders. These factors could have a material adverse effect on our costs of borrowing and our ability to pursue business opportunities, and threaten our ability to meet our obligations as they become due.
Changes in our credit ratings may limit our access to capital and materially increase our borrowing costs.
Any future downgrades to our credit ratings and outlook could negatively impact the perception of our credit risk and thus our access to capital markets, borrowing costs, vendor terms and lease terms. Our credit ratings are based upon information furnished by us or obtained by a rating agency from its own sources and are subject to revision, suspension or withdrawal by one or more rating agencies at any time. Rating agencies may change the ratings assigned to us due to developments that are beyond our control, including the introduction of new rating practices and methodologies.
Failure to meet any financial performance guidance or other forward-looking statements we may provide to the public could result in a decline in our stock price.
We may provide public guidance on our expected financial results or other forward-looking information for future periods. When we provide guidance, we believe that this guidance provides investors and analysts with a better understanding of management's expectations for the future and is useful to our existing and potential shareholders, but such guidance is comprised of forward-looking statements subject to the risks and uncertainties described in this report and in our other public filings and public statements. Our actual results may not be in line with guidance we have provided. We may not be able to accurately forecast our growth rate and profit margins. We base our expense levels and investment plans on sales estimates. A significant portion of our expenses and investments are fixed, and we may not be able to adjust our spending quickly enough if our sales are less than expected. Our revenue growth may not be sustainable and our percentage growth rates may decrease. Our revenue and operating profit growth depend on the continued growth of demand for the products and services offered by us, and our business is affected by general economic and business conditions worldwide. If our financial results for a particular period do not meet any guidance we provide or the expectations of market participants, or if we reduce any guidance for future periods, the market price of our common stock may decline.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.
Item 2. Properties.
The location and total square footage of our Domestic segment stores at the end of fiscal 2021 were as follows:
District of Columbia
Total Domestic store count
Square footage (in thousands)
(1)Includes 14 Best Buy Outlet Centers and 21 Pacific Sales store locations.
The location and total square footage of our International segment stores at the end of fiscal 2021 were as follows:
Prince Edward Island
Total Canada store count
Square footage (in thousands)
Ciudad de Mexico
Total Mexico store count
Square footage (in thousands)
Total International store count
Square footage (in thousands)
(1)Includes 33 Best Buy Mobile stores.
Ownership and Leased Locations
The ownership status of our stores at the end of fiscal 2021 was as follows:
Owned Buildings and Leased Land
The ownership status and total square footage of space utilized for distribution centers at the end of fiscal 2021 were as follows:
Square Footage (in thousands)
We own our corporate headquarters buildings located in Richfield, Minnesota. We also lease additional domestic and international office space to support and carry out our business operations.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings.
For additional information regarding our legal proceedings, see Note 13, Contingencies and Commitments, of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, included in Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.
Information about our Executive Officers
(As of March 18, 2021)
Position with the Company
Years with the Company
Corie S. Barry
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Financial Officer
President, Best Buy Health
Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer
Todd G. Hartman
General Counsel and Chief Risk and Compliance Officer
R. Michael (Mike) Mohan
President and Chief Operating Officer
Chief Customer Officer
Chief Human Resources Officer
Chief Digital and Technology Officer
Mathew R. Watson
Senior Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer
Corie S. Barry was appointed our Chief Executive Officer in June 2019. Prior to her current role, she served as chief financial officer and chief strategic transformation officer responsible for overseeing all aspects of strategic transformation and growth, digital and technology, global finance, investor relations, enterprise risk and compliance, integration management, and Best Buy Health, which includes GreatCall. Ms. Barry joined Best Buy in 1999 and has held a variety of financial and operational roles within the organization, both in the field and at corporate. Her prior roles include: the company’s chief strategic growth officer and the interim leader of Best Buy’s services organization from 2015 to 2016; senior vice president of domestic finance from 2013 to 2015; vice president, chief financial officer and business development of our home business group from 2012 to 2013; and vice president, finance of the home customer solutions group from 2010 to 2012. Prior to Best Buy, Ms. Barry worked at Deloitte & Touche LLP. She also serves on the board of directors for Domino’s Pizza Inc. and the board of trustees for the College of St. Benedict.
Matt Bilunas is our Chief Financial Officer, appointed in July 2019. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing all aspects of global finance and strategic planning, as well as audit, procurement and financial services. Since joining Best Buy in 2006, Mr. Bilunas has served in a variety of financial leadership roles, both in the field and at the corporate campus. He started as a territory finance director in Los Angeles and has worked in the company’s domestic and international businesses. Mr. Bilunas has been a key finance leader during Best Buy’s transformation. Prior to becoming CFO, he was senior vice president of enterprise and merchandise finance since April 2017; vice president, finance for category, e-commerce and marketing from 2015 to 2017; and vice president, category finance from 2014 to 2015. He also has held finance roles in retail, e-commerce and marketing. Before Best Buy, he worked at Carlson Inc., NRG Energy Inc., Bandag Inc. and KPMG.