Best Buy Seeks First Forever Status with 3-D TVs
Best Buy is betting that by being first out out of the gate
with 3-D television offerings, it will establish a hold on the category that
competitors will not be able to shake once the technology becomes part of mainstream
To help get it off to a fast start, Best Buy has signed an exclusive
deal with Panasonic to sell that company’s first 3-D TV home entertainment
system. The system includes a 50-inch plasma 3-D Viera set priced at $2,499.95,
a Blu-ray disc player at $399.95 and viewing glasses for $149.95. The complete
system went on sale this week at Best Buy’s upscale Magnolia Home Theater stores.
were again impressed by the technology and do expect it to be a strong traffic
driver for Best Buy in the near term,” Credit Suisse analyst
Gary Balter told MarketWatch.
While it is generally expected that it
will be years before large numbers of American households have 3-D sets, many
see Best Buy’s move as giving it an advantage.
“It’s important for Best Buy to maintain a positioning as a destination for
the greatest and latest consumer technology,” said Ross Rubin at The NPD Group. “It’s
a statement to establish leadership in the new television technology."
one way they differentiate from Wal-Mart and other competitors. We see a disproportionate
interest from younger consumers in 3-D TV,” Mr. Rubin told MarketWatch. “This
is clearly something Best Buy can pitch to the early adopters.”
While Best Buy
seeks to get an early start in the market, it is not the only retailer moving
into 3-D. Sears and Amazon are selling Samsung 3-D models. Best Buy also sells
Samsung 3-D TVs and is looking to add other manufacturer models, as well.
Discussion Questions: Do you agree that it is important
for Best Buy to get out in front as the leader in 3-D televisions for it to
succeed once the technology achieves widespread adoption?
[Editor’s Note] Only 17 percent
of respondents to a RetailWire poll
in January thought 3-D televisions would be widespread in American households
in the next five years. Thirty-eight percent said it would take six to 10 years
and 30 percent said it would take longer than a decade. Thirteen percent said