Apple Macs return to Best Buy in major way; new ministores a hit

“The Macintosh has landed at Best Buy – again. Eight years after California-based Apple Inc. stopped selling its computers in the retail megastores, it has returned in a major way with ministore-style displays inside certain Best Buy locations. Those ministores mimic Apple’s own retail chain, and showcase the bulk of its Mac line,” Julio Ojeda-Zapata reports for The Pioneer Press.

“Apple has had its storeswithin-stores at about 50 Best Buys since earlier this summer, and last month announced plans to be in 300 of Best Buy’s more than 820 stores by the end of this year,” Ojeda-Zapata reports. “‘It’s going very well,’ Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook recently told reporters and industry analysts. ‘Both parties are very happy about it, and that’s the reason we are expanding.'”

Best Buy “customers can kick the tires on recently upgraded iMacs as well as iPods, MacBook laptops and Cinema Displays. Only Apple’s recently released iPhone and its professional-grade Mac Pro towers are absent,” Ojeda-Zapata reports.

“Apple appears to have taken greater care with its staffing, too. Apple workers run the displays and leave business cards if they’re not around. Blue-shirted Best Buy staffers have received Apple training as well, to pitch Macs better,” Ojeda-Zapata reports.

Full article here.

34 Comments

  1. I actually visited one of these, in Boston’s Back Bay. It was indeed its own area with the Macs and iPods lined up, with a big video screen in the wall showing a movie about OS X, and it even had a long bar with stools and free WiFi access, apparently in case people wanted to just hang out and use their laptops there. That’s a shockingly non-standard attitude for Best Buy.

    I wasn’t expecting much out of this. But apparently customers’ dollars are doing the talking this time.

  2. Have never had an issue with any of the Apple retail store staff. Have been in a LOT of Apple stores around the country as well. Good to hear that it sounds like Apple at least has their own staff in the stores at times, because man the sales people in Best Buy stores are the same crowd that should be asking “would you like fries with that?”

  3. Here it comes again, another round of Mac snobs slagging Best Buy.

    I like Best Buy (Canada). I like their 14 day money back guarantee on computers, 30 days on accessories and price protection. Their employees tech knowledge pales compared to my local Apple stores employees. However, I’m intelligent enough to be able to pick up a box, walk up to the cashier and make a purchase, all on my own.

    It wasn’t long ago many people on this forum were saying putting Apple products in Best Buy was a mistake. Apparently based on this article, you were wrong. I don’t see Apple’s reputation going down the drain. You may feel less exclusive, but that’s your issue. Maybe you can offset this by bragging about how well your Apple stock is doing because of it.

  4. Bandit Bill, I don’t particularly like Best Buy stores. Follower said: “… It was indeed its own area with the Macs and iPods lined up, with a big video screen in the wall showing a movie about OS X … That’s a shockingly non-standard attitude for Best Buy.”, and I agree. The whole thing seems more like a “hosting” arrangement than a marketing agreement. I’ve shopped Best Buy in the past, but have tended to walk away empty-handed.

    Dave

  5. @Bandit Bill – So what you are saying is “If you remember bad experiences in the past, but they are not happening any more, then you are stupid and insecure for remembering them.” Interesting.

  6. My experience at the Best Buy in St. Catherines Ontario has been abysmal. I went in there a couple of years ago to buy a FireWire drive enclosure and was told by the salesdoofus there “Oh, that’s mostly just an Apple thing.” I told him that yes, it was to connect to a Mac and walked away disgusted. So then I started looking at their Mac display. They had a 17″ iMac, the G5 PowerMac and an iBook. None of it worked. It was just sitting there in disarray, like a trailer park garage sale. But the iPod section was well-staffed, with young salesdorks asking me every 15 seconds or so if I needed any help with anything. I wrote to Apple Canada about the problems there and got a call the next week. I was told that there were some changes taking place and those problems would be alleviated, and they were for the most part. Just don’t go looking for FireWire anything at Best Buy, ’cause it’s mostly ‘just a Mac thing’.

  7. “Please don’t let a Bill Gates Jr wannabe try to sell the Macs in Best Buy.”

    Rory John Gates is eight years old and a Bill Gates, Jr. actualbe.

    But not including his enormous wealth, I think his elementary school educational level makes him overqualified.
    Besides, he’s probably too busy squirting his <strike>hired staff</strike> playmates.

  8. Zune Tang:

    Take that excuse and your MAC Lipglass and shove it up your you-know-where. We know that Microshaft pays you. If I wanted to play games, I would have bought a Wii or a PS3, not a computer.

    Anyhoo, I hope that this enters the Best Buy stores here in Fort Wayne real soon while we’re waiting for our Apple Store (and it would be a hoot if they put it in the Apple Glen Crossing store). It probably is not a matter of if but when…

    MDN MW: “long”, as in it will be a long time before Zune Tang surrenders

  9. Unfortunately Apple started the same ‘crap’ in Germany. Here the stores are called Saturn and Media Markt. It belongs to one big player anyway, but compared to the main market US, it does not work.
    The guys tried to sell me a PC laptop in 3 different markets instead… They do not know nothing. Not about mail setup, not itunes and not the difference of Safari to Internet Explorer…

    Please, Steve, give us a real, a retail store in Germany. And for your own good, do it quickly…

  10. Had they simply placed a $1200 iMac on a standard shelf next to a $400 HP then the Best Buy thing would have been bad. The mini store concept, however, is different. This sounds like it might be a good match. Just image mini stores in other places where you have good concentrations of potential customers:

    • Ikea & Target
    • Major supermarkets
    • Busy transit stations/retail districts

  11. @follower “So what you are saying is “If you remember bad experiences in the past, but they are not happening any more, then you are stupid and insecure for remembering them.”

    I’m having difficulty comprehending how you got that out of what I said, but in response:

    You’re not “stupid or insecure” for remembering past bad experiences, but you shouldn’t get caught up in them and be afraid to move ahead. As many have indicated they have had poor experiences in the past. Their expectations were not met. From the sounds of it. Now Best Buy is exceeding some peoples expectations. To me that’s the way to do business.

    As indicated in the article Apple tried selling their products through Best Buy in the past and it did poorly. It appears they’ve learned from their experience. The market has changed and so has Apple’s approach. Apparently this new approach is working for the time being.

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