Best Buy, previously #1 player in consumer electronics, may soon be forced to take the bench. Best Buy faces the necessity of closing 50 stores and laying off 400 workers as superstar competitors Amazon and Apple step up their game. How did “the big blue box” go from calling the shots to taking a hit? Let’s check the score:

Amazon, competitor colossus, caters to the desire of many consumers to order electronics online (read: with convenience, without sales tax). Your newest laptop only a few keystrokes away, materializes on your doorstep in two days. Consumers really only tend to leave home when they want to sample the product before they, you guessed it, buy it online, which has turned Best Buy into Amazon’s showroom. Not ideal.

Brick-and-mortar competitor Apple, on the other hand, plays to the consumer desire for a niche buying experience. The Apple Store is slim in dimension (how much space do you need for an iPod, really?) with a clean, white design scheme and trendy consumer hooks like the “Genius Bar.” Best Buy, in contrast, is bulky, sporting an explosion of primary colors down every cavernous aisle. Really not ideal.

What’s an ailing retailer to do? Well, according to Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn, “We are evolving our retail store strategy. We are increasing our points of presence while decreasing our overall square footage.” Okaaaaaaay. Not being sure what that strategy means precisely, we really can’t comment. We can note, however, that Electronics used to be a category we tracked in our Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, but no more. The category got smaller and smaller, and quieter and quieter, until all that was left was Best Buy. But in the face of Amazon-like strategies and Apple-like tactics that singularity, alas, may not last.

In the absence of any specific consumer insights regarding the Best Buy brand, unhappily, we can’t offer up a solution. But we can offer up some wisdom voiced by Sun Yzu which may be of some help to Mr. Dunn: “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”