(WXYZ) - The storm clouds are gathering over best buy, with the recent announcement that its closing 50 if its big box stores.
Customer Jeff Bailey hopes the chain is able to survive.
"I like it a lot. It's one of the stores I prefer, as far as electronics go." he says.
But sales are down, and Christmas season crowds have been getting smaller and smaller. How did such a retail giant end up this way? Jim and Violet Fousz say Best Buy High Def TV displays no longer excite shoppers now that virtually everyone has an HDTV.
"A lot of people I think have as many televisions as they need. And there's so much competition everywhere," Violet says.
Meantime, Tina Lawrence echoes what Wall Street analysts have been saying: Many shoppers are using Best Buy as a showroom for Amazon.com and other online retailers. It's referred to as "showrooming."
"I think what a lot of people are doing is they are using stores like Best Buy to compare prices, see what they want, and then they go online to see what's cheaper," Lawrence says.
The Los Angeles Times says Best Buy can be saved by offering expertise and good service, which is why shoppers flock to Apple stores! But without anything unique or special, the report says, it could eventually go the way of Circuit City and other retailers that couldn't adapt.
While some of Wall Street wonder if will survive, many retail analysts feel Best Buy will still be around in 10 years, but with a reduced size and role.
Radio Shack has also fallen victim to "showrooming." They've missed earnings lately, and their stock is way down.
The bottom line... we may all like to find the best deal on things, and often that's online, at retailers that don't have to pay rent for big buildings... but it could mean that eventually we don't have brick and mortar stores around anymore to really check out or touch and feel a product. Only you can decide if that's too high a price to pay?
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
More Don't Waste Your Money
If you're preparing for severe weather, buying a generator is just job one. Consumer Reports says there are important do’s and don’ts—from installation to storage.