Best Buy Bets Future on Connected Store
Best Buy is going smaller and more "Connected" and this new future for the consumer electronics chain is on display inside a new format store in Richfield, MN.
According to a report from the Star Tribune of Minneapolis, the new Connected Store unit and its brethren will range from 30,000 to 45,000 square feet compared to the 58,000 of a typical Best Buy. The new stores will include a Geek Squad Solution Central area where customers can get tech support and take classes.
"Technology is an amazing place to be right now for Best Buy," Josh Will, a Best Buy vice president in charge of the Connected Store, told the Star Tribune. "But it’s still too hard for consumers to use. It’s difficult to get a good understanding of what technology can do for you and more importantly how it can better your life. It’s time that our shopping environment matches that expectation."
The Connected Store will also feature Magnolia Design Centers that will come with models of a living room, patio and home movie theaters where shoppers can see and operate the latest technology using an iPad.
Back in March, when Best Buy first began providing details of the Connected Store, Doug Stephens, president, Retail Prophet, observed in a RetailWire discussion, "I think there’s a huge opportunity for Best Buy to deliver education and training to its customers across a multitude of categories and perhaps even develop a new revenue channel in doing so. There’s really nothing here though that strikes me as game-changing. It sounds like they’re planning to do a little of what others are already doing. Today, being a little of a lot of things can be perilous. They haven’t answered the all important question: ‘What will I go to Best Buy for that I can’t get anywhere else?’"
Best Buy has been testing the concept in the San Antonio and Twin Cities. The company is not only looking for Connected Stores to satisfy the needs of current Best Buy shoppers, but also attract new ones to the chain.
- Best Buy’s Richfield store seeks to connect on new scale – Star Tribune
- Best Buy to Test ‘Connected’ Stores – RetailWire
- Inside Best Buy’s connected store – Star Tribune
Discussion Questions: Will the Connected Store come to the rescue of Best Buy? Will the new format help to address the showrooming challenge that Best Buy faces?