Has Best Buy's plan to rule the UK stalled... in Gateshead?

Bitterwallet - Best Buy logoGateshead, eh?

There's some nice stuff there - it's got the Angel of the North, perhaps the best live music venue in the country and one of the biggest shopping centres in Europe. It also has a high street that hasn't been washed since 1958 and is full of pissed-up shit faces, it's not good enough to have its own train station, and everyone who lives there tells their friends they live in Newcastle.

Something else Gateshead isn't going to have, is a Best Buy. The US brand, in cahoots with the Carphone Warehouse, is supposedly out to revolutionise the electrical retail market in the UK. That plan appears to have stalled, after initial delays in opening the initial handful of stores - and now that Best Buy has pulled out of a deal to open in Gateshead, according to The Times.

It's not Gateshead putting them off - Team Valley Retail Park is one of the most sought-after retail sites in the country. "If you are trying to build a nationwide presence, it would be very surprising not to go there," one source told the newspaper. "It will be in any retailer's list of top performers."

"The town centre is an absolute fucking shambles, mind," they probably thought as they said it.

The Times also reckons that Best Buy is well behind its initial target of opening 80 outlets by 2013; only five stores have opened in the past year. Understandably, Best Buy have disputed the claim, and said it plans to open five more stores in 2011, bringing its total to 11. PC World and Currys will be sleeping soundly for a good few nights yet.


  • Marlboro M.
    What would this music venue happen to be? Hope you don't mean the sage.
  • Bravefan
    No surprise ... they're not opening many more stores in the UK as they are no where near their original forecasted sales volumes. They can't make it work. Dixons on the other hand, are making it work quite well with their Megastores. And if you compare them honestly (I will be shot down as you don't seem to like Dixons), their megastores are a whole lot better (even the staff within them!).
  • zeddy
    I much prefer online as you don't have to speak to the troglodytes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TGY0NYAwU4
  • Paul S.
    Marlboro Man - I do mean the Sage. Not in terms of atmosphere or aesthetics - it's sterile, lacking in colour or soul and hardly the stuff of legend. In terms of acoustics though, there aren't many in the UK to beat it? Personal POV, obviously...
  • Test I.
    Not like they'll increase visitors by building up at Team Valley - would be fine if you only want to visit between 11am - 3 pm, any other time you'd have to be suicidal to want to go near the western bypass
  • Matt
    So, they have 5 stores and plan to open another 5... to make that 11 stores... Hmmm. I hope their tills add up better than that!!
  • Thyme
    Sage hall 2 is a fantastic venue and the acoustic in hall 1 are fantastic. The only problem with the sage is the idiots who run it.
  • Skymarshall
    2+2 = 4.25 nowadays. Barney the Dinosaur's got nothing on me..
  • armedtoreact
    "and everyone who lives there tells their friends they live in Newcastle." couldn't stop laughing at that since it's so true.
  • andy y.
    Gateshead is strictly a local shop for local people.
  • Zleet
    Always said they should knock the whole place down and build a car park for Newcastle. I live in Gateshead. 'It also has a high street that hasn’t been washed since 1958' That statement is dead on. I blame the bloody Michael Caine fanclub for preventing the council from knocking down that monstrous turd of a multi story car-park and getting on with rejuvenating the town centre. They should hollow out all the old buildings and markets to make an Eldon style hidden shopping mall then run a free bus/tram across the bridge and back. They've spent billions on the Quayside but all that does is give Newcastle a nice view while behind it looks like an eastern European shit hole.
  • Andy B.
    "Michael Caine fanclub "...and a crap council. The place is an embarrassment to be associated with, but we are getting a nice new Tesco, so that's ok then.
  • james d.
    Something wrong with wales best buy? You could at least put one in Cardiff.
  • Julie G.
    I live in Gateshead, yet strangely, I happily tell people that's where I live. No so keen on sweeping generalisations and stereotyping though, particularly as I'm not a "pissed-up shit face", as you so readily call people, but a professional person, working (very hard) for a living. Every town and city has good and bad sides, not just Gateshead. Some of us are actually quite decent people.
  • Paul S.
    Hello Julie, I live in Gateshead too. Some of the above description was tongue-in-cheek (I'm happy to admit where I live, too). Some of it wasn't, however; Gateshead High Street - from the Bed Shed building at the South end, to Tesco at the North - is a shit hole. The southern half in particular is full of ruined, filthy, broken buildings, is off-limits and ignored by anyone visiting what I'll laughingly describe as the "town centre" and has half a dozen pubs that I'm happy to say are frequented by pissed-up shit faces. Gateshead has plenty of bright spots, but I was quite specific about when I criticised Gateshead High Street - it's been neglected for decades, the council should be brought to account for it and the area should be razed to the ground.
  • zeddy
    Julie, when you say a professional person.................... No? Oh, well. Just a thought.
  • Brad
    Gateshead people, Clam down your not really missing that much. I been to the one in Lakeside in Essex on a few occasions, the first one to open and while they look nice inside and everything, the most important thing is price, and frankly they are no better then the Currys/Dixons and Comet, sure you get the odd things but all the old school have been doing that for years. Plus they never seem to be that busy when ever ive been in so I cant be that wrong.
  • PC B.
    [...] months. Best Buy’s aggressive expansion in the UK has been anything but, with the US brand pulling out of key retail sites; Comet recently announced extensive job losses and regional chains have also been victim to poor [...]

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