All customers are not created equal. So declares Columbia Business School professor Larry Selden, coauthor of the book <em>Angel Customers and Demon Customers,</em> in which he argues that shoppers can be segmented into two general types: "angels," who buy high-margin goods at full price, and "demons," who can chew up profits by bargain hunting, returning purchases, and tying up customer service reps. Best Buy Co. Inc. CEO Brad Anderson is a believer. A couple of years ago, Seiden convinced Anderson that the consumer electronics giant wasn't as profitable as it could be. Last year the stores showed increases in sales, profits, and "close rates" — the percentage of shoppers who make a purchase. Anderson is now retooling 68 more stores, and analysts predict a 16 percent rise in Best Buy's net income for 2005.
Business 2.0. January 01, 2005.