Electronics retailers including Best Buy, Walmart and others are about to engage in a fierce Black Friday and holiday shopping price war. The fight is for market share rather than profits at a time of the year when several highly anticipated electronic devices are launched, including the new iPad models, or the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles. The Wall Street Journal has spoken to Best Buy and Walmart execs, who confirmed that the holiday shopping season is of utmost importance for them, as electronics are seen as the main attraction for potential customers. More →
Even though sales of the new iPhone models have already rocketed to the top of every major wireless carrier, Best Buy might be looking to convert any stragglers that are still reluctant to switch to Apple. According to an internal document leaked by TechnoBuffalo, Best Buy will be running a promotion from October 13th to October 19th which will offer anyone who trades in a working smartphone a minimum $100 Best Buy gift card in order to purchase an iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c with a two-year activation. The offer states that the smartphone being traded in “must be undamaged (no cracked screen or liquid damage) and in working condition to qualify.” If no iPhones are in stock, the offer is still valid for reservations as well.
We learned on Friday that Samsung is set to bring in record profits this quarter, but that analysts do not believe smartphone-driven profit growth will be sustainable in the coming years. In order to counteract increasing market saturation, Samsung might be looking into buying a stake in Best Buy, one of the largest electronics retailers in the United States. Speaking with The Korea Times, Samsung vice chairman Lee Jae-yong said that he “recently met with senior executives at Best Buy and discussed pending business issues.” More →
It looks as though Google may be pushing its Glass headset out to traditional retail outlets. Rackspace startup liaison officer and noted Glass enthusiast Robert Scoble wrote on his Google+ account this week that he’s been hearing rumors that “Google is renting 6,000 square feet inside every Best Buy next year” so it can showcase and sell Google Glass to consumers. Having dedicated spaces within Best Buy stores has become very common lately as Apple, Samsung and Microsoft all have their own “stores-within-stores” at several Best Buy locations. Given where Scoble is best-known for showing off his Google Glass headset, however, a better fit for the device might be Bed, Bath & Beyond. More →
Take note, Xbox fans: if you haven’t already preordered your Day One Edition of Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox One, you now have one less retailer to consider if you’re hoping to order a console for delivery on the first day of availability. Best Buy is now completely sold out of the “Xbox One: Day One Edition” console bundle and is no longer taking preorders. The Day One Edition is also sold out at Amazon, though the site is still taking preorders for the Standard Edition. Those looking to preorder the limited edition Xbox One online can still do so from GameStop and Walmart, though it is unclear how much longer their allotted inventories will last.
Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky on Tuesday announced an exclusive partnership with Best Buy to offer his company’s popular smartwatch at the Best Buy retail stores nationwide. The Pebble got its start on crowd-funding website Kickstarter in 2012, earning more than $10.2 million from 68,000 backers to become the most successful campaign in the site’s history. Market research firm ABI Research previously said that 2013 could be a breakout year for smartwatches, with shipments of more than 1.2 million devices, and Pebble’s partnership with Best Buy will do a great deal to help that figure become a reality. More →
When you walk into your local Best Buy store you will usually find a miniature Apple Store and a Samsung experience section, and soon you can expect to see a Windows store as well. Microsoft on Thursday announced that it has partnered with the retailer to create a store-within-a-store at 500 Best Buy locations in the United States and 100 locations in Canada. The stores will range in size from 1,500 square feet to 2,200 square feet, and will give consumers a chance to try a variety of Microsoft and Windows products, including tablets, PCs, phones, software and gaming systems. Each store will also contain a standalone section dedicated entirely to Microsoft’s Surface tablet. More →
U.S. consumers are used to seeing Apple micro-stores in their local Best Buys, and soon they’ll be just as accustomed to browsing the shelves of Samsung micro-stores across the room. The South Korea-based electronics giant announced earlier this month that it plans to open 1,400 micro-stores at Best Buy locations across the U.S., and the company just celebrated the grand opening of its first shop at Best Buy’s Union Square store in New York City. More →
Samsung (005930) plans to follow in Apple’s (AAPL) footsteps by opening new shops inside of Best Buy (BBY) stores nationwide. The company plans to open 500 Samsung Experience Shops inside Best Buy stores on April 8th and will expand that number to 900 in May. By early summer Samsung will have 1,400 mini-stores inside Best Buy locations nationwide. The Samsung Experience Shops, which will vary in size with the largest being around 460 square feet, will give consumers access to the company’s full lineup of products including smartphones, tablets, laptops, cameras and various accessories, all in one place. Samsung had briefly considered opening its own stores in the U.S., however the company decided to partner with Best Buy instead. Samsung’s press release follows below. More →
Congratulations, Samsung (005930) — Best Buy (BBY) is honoring you with a distinction that it’s previously only given to Apple (AAPL). Unnamed sources have told Geek.com that some Best Buy locations are planning to cordon off separate areas in their stores to exclusively sell Samsung products. Geek.com says that “this new section will be dressed in large Samsung signage and offer custom demo stations for many of Samsung’s products” and that Best Buy “will be issuing special training sessions for employees in the mobile department, focusing heavily on how to show off Samsung-specific features.” The installation of special in-house Samsung “stores” are timed to coincide with the launch of the Galaxy S4, which is widely expected to be one of the best-selling smartphones of 2013.
Best Buy (BBY) on Friday announced that it did not receive an offer from founder Richard Schulze for a proposed buyout. Schulze originally planned to take Best Buy private for $24 to $26 a share last August, however he failed to secure financing and make a bid for the retail giant prior to the February 28th deadline. Talks between the two parties reportedly ended after Schulze and his private-equity investors sought three board seats in exchange for acquiring a minority stake in the company, according to Bloomberg. Best Buy will now continue to focus “on its transformation for the benefit of all of its stakeholders.”
Tired of losing sales to the likes of Amazon (AMZN), Best Buy (BBY) has made its online price-matching policy permanent. “Showrooming” — or, the practice of going to a store like Best Buy to look at products but then making an actual purchase online — has been a problem for brick and mortar retailers like Best Buy in recent years. The nationwide electronics seller has decided to combat the issue by revamping its price-matching policy. Instead of matching just brick and mortar retail stores, Best Buy will now also match the advertised prices of 19 major online competitors including Amazon. The retailer’s press release follows below. More →
Best Buy (BBY) on Friday reported sales results for the nine-week period ending on January 5th, 2013. The nation’s largest consumer electronics retailer said total revenue slid 1.4% year-over-year to $12.8 billion between October and January, but domestic comparable sales rose slightly and online sales grew by 10%. “One of the first priorities of our Renew Blue strategy is to stabilize and then begin improving our comparable store sales,” Best Buy President and CEO Hubert Joly said. “During the most important period in the retail calendar – the holiday sales season – we were able to improve our Domestic comparable store sales trends compared to the performance of the last several quarters and continue our strong traffic growth in our online business. Our holiday selling strategy, backed by a compelling assortment, increased employee training and price match policy, allowed us to deliver these results.” Best Buy shares closed up 16.38% at $14.21 on the news.