Magazine

Best Buy's Big Bets


The last major national consumer-electronics chain is expanding its focus to include all types of connected devices under new CEO Dunn. Here are some key experiments

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

In May, about two dozen stores in California and Oregon began selling electric vehicles, including bikes, scooters, and gearless motorcycles. The company plans to expand to other states in 2010.

MOBILE DEVICES

The retailer has been remodeling stores to emphasize Best Buy Mobile, which sells smartphones, netbooks, and other devices from the four major U.S. wireless carriers. It's also expanding the number of standalone Mobile stores in a bid to capture 15% of U.S. wireless sales by the end of 2010.

ELECTRONIC BOOK READERS

In August the chain began selling two Sony Reader models. In the first quarter, it plans to add devices, such as the IREX digital reader, that wirelessly download books and newspapers.

DIGITAL HEALTH

In November, 40 stores across the U.S. began offering personal health devices such as pedometers, Bluetooth-enabled weight scales, and blood pressure monitors. Best Buy is working closely with Intel and Cisco Systems to develop additional health products.

BEST BUY ON ADVERTISING NETWORK

In early 2010, the chain will begin collecting revenue from companies that want to use its in-store displays of televisions, monitors, and other equipment to advertise movies, music, and products. Procter & Gamble and Samsung have expressed interest.


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