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.
One of the more interesting companies to watch in 2013 is Best Buy (BBY), and the show started right from the get-go in 2013. As most people were getting ready to enjoy New Year’s Eve celebrations, this struggling retailer was busy confirming that two key board members were resigning, Reuters reported. Among those leaving Best Buy’s board of directors is G. Mike Mikan, who served as interim CEO between April and September this year after former CEO Brian Dunn resigned amid scandal. Director Matthew Paull is the second departure, and he is leaving in April following his retirement from the role of chief financial officer at McDonald’s in April 2008. Best Buy’s corporate policy indicates that directors must relinquish their board seats within five years of retiring from their primary careers. The struggling nationwide retailer now has four vacant seats on its board.
Reports surfaced last month that Best Buy (BBY) founder and former CEO Richard Schulze, who is trying to buy his former company, had asked the retailer for an extra 30 days to conduct due diligence before decided whether to make a bid. Schulze was said to be working with three private-equity firms to offer a more appealing proposal to the company and had also been interested to see how Best Buy performed over the holiday season. The retailer announced on Friday, however, that it has agreed to extend the founder’s deadline to February 28th. More →
A jury in California has determined that Best Buy (BBY) must pay $22 million in damages for improper use of another company’s trade secrets, and another $5 million in punitive damages. In a lawsuit filed by start-up TechForward in the United States District Court for the Central District of California last year, the company alleged that Best Buy and two of its subsidiaries misappropriated its trade secrets relating to the Guaranteed Buyback Program, which allows customers to pay for the right to exchange products for store credit to be used on future purchases at a set price. A jury decided on Wednesday that Best Buy is guilty of making illegal use of TechForward’s trade secrets after working for months with the company and then deciding to cancel the deal and implement its own buyback program. More →
Shares of Best Buy (BBY) tumbled on Tuesday following the company’s weaker-than-expected earnings report. The struggling consumer electronics retailer posted third-quarter results of $0.03 per share, well below Wall Street’s expectations of $0.12. Best Buy’s profit fell a whopping 94% from a year ago while sales fell 3.5% to $10.75 billion from $11.15 billion. CEO Hubert Joly was not pleased with the earnings, although he did note that Best Buy is “taking steps to rejuvenate its business.” More →
With its new Windows 8 operating system, Microsoft (MSFT) has brought a complete overhaul to the Windows platform that includes an emphasis on the Metro user interface and touch capabilities. The changes to the operating system represent a shift in the PC industry as tablets and smartphones enter into the mainstream. Consumers who have used older versions of Windows for years, however, are facing uncertainty when upgrading to Windows 8. Microsoft and its retailer partners understand this and are investing heavily to educate consumers. According to Forbes, Best Buy (BBY) has spent more than 50,000 hours training its employees to become Windows 8 experts. More →