Report: Apple and Best Buy to expand Mac sales beyond publicly-stated 600-store goal

“Apple and Best Buy have internally announced plans to scale Mac sales beyond their previously stated 600-store goal, but will soon face real estate-related obstacles that could challenge further expansion,” Kasper Jade reports for AppleInsider.

“Thus far, the duo has established catchy store-within-a-store boutiques at approximately 500 Best Buy retail stores, according to comments made during Best Buy’s recent quarterly conference call. That’s up from about 200 stores just twelve months ago, and close to the 600-store goal announced by Apple in January,” Jade reports.

“The elaborate kiosks showcase the better part of the Mac maker’s personal computer lineup and vary in design by store,” Jade reports. “However, the most recently layouts have featured mini theaters that are anchored by thick matte black walls with glowing Apple logos, embedded LCD screens and stereo sound systems. Mac systems are typically spaced graciously on trademark wooden tables, while accessories are hung on nearby racks.”

“People familiar with the ongoing program expansion say Best Buy and Apple are now striving to install Mac boutiques at all of Best Buy’s stateside locations. The next phase was announced privately last month when the retailer issued an internal memo outlining plans to enroll 40 more stores in the program by the end of July,” Jade reports. “Once complete, Apple and Best Buy will have surpassed their stated 600-store goal, scaling Macs sales to approximately two-thirds of US-based Best Buy stores.”

Jade reports, “Growing the program beyond the July phase is where things may get tricky, those familiar with the situation say.”

Much more, including images of Apple setups inside Best Buy stores, here.

16 Comments

  1. Going by the description of the displays in that article, Best Buy seems to have really gone all out in their support of the Mac.

    I thought you guys said this would fail cause they’d just leave Macs in a dark corner untended by snotty nosed, acne ridden teenagers who’d rather hawk PCs?

  2. I spoke with a BB manager once, about stocking the top 20 Apps and the top 10 games — to add to their margins. You know to attract ‘Mac’ customers. Adjust the list every 2 months maybe.

    Maybe add some Mac specific hardware: hard drives, etc. Place cards near the ‘Apple section’ indicating what other currently in-store ‘PC’ peripherals would work with the Mac.

    Two years later. That particular store — is sell trying to flog iLife ’05. For full price.

  3. Its been my experience that Best Buy only cares about money coming in. PERIOD. They get better discounts for selling wintel.

    Best Buy bought Geek Squad (which was once run by real geeks trying to help and make money) and is turning it into a joke but another money bringer in for the store.

    Who cares about the customer? Not Best Buy. My only experiences were with a store that once even had an actual Apple employee there. He told me on the side that the other sales people get bonuses for selling the push of the week. Period. Who cares what the customer really wants.

    I would think long and hard before going into a Best buy and would want to be totally sure of what I want to buy, not what they want to sell me.

    Just a thought.

    en

  4. Best Buy’s prices are great, so I shop there a great deal. But I don’t trust their employees to know squat or to make a recommendation.

    There’s an Apple kiosk in the Best Buy I go to, near Akron. It’s highly visible and catches your attention as you enter the store.

    ——RM

  5. R2 said:
    “I thought you guys said this would fail cause they’d just leave Macs in a dark corner untended by snotty nosed, acne ridden teenagers who’d rather hawk PCs?”

    My local Best Buy in Maple Grove, MN has a nice Apple presence. I chatted with the Apple salesman there and he said that he never would have imagined selling electronics in a big-box store at 30 unless it was for Apple. The only way Macs get a fair shake in Best Buy these days is have a mature, informed and dedicated Apple rep.

    As a side note, anyone remember the old Apple / Best Buy spat where BB would eventually refuse to sell the original gumdrop iMacs? Apple required resellers to purchase crates of iMacs, all in specific numbers of colors. Best Buy wanted to purchase more of the popular colors (like Indigo) but Apple was stubborn, so they lost out. I am not a fan of Best Buy, but that’s an example of Apple being stupid IMO. Glad to see the new relationship is apparently working out.

  6. You can hype up the apparent Apple Best Buy partnership all you want, but just like the first time they tried this some13 years ago, and the one or two times since then that they’ve tried, you still cannot walk into a Best Buy store and actually get help buying an Apple computer – an iPod maybe yes – but not a computer, unless an Apple specialist happens to be in the store when you’re there. Best Buy sales staff will rarely even show their faces when you go and stand in the Apple computer section, and when they do they pretty much just stand there and answer questions with a shoulder shrug or an outright, “I don’t know”. If they think they can eventually get over to the Windows runnin PC section they’ll stand there and wait all day, but if you’re heart’s set on a Mac you better already know what you want when you walk in ’cause no one in a Best Buy is going to actually promote the idea of buying a Macintosh computer. SOBs.

  7. Was in the local Best Buy few weeks ago.

    Pleased to report a thriving Mac ’boutique’ – similar to the one pictured in the link – on the main aisle around the store.

    And not a lonely Apple Computer in the bunch (plus, damn, that 24″ iMac is a HUGE sumgun).

    Don’t believe the Apple Rep was around at the time, but that didn’t seem to matter much.

    I played fly on the wall for a bit and most were able to figure things out pretty fast (we ARE talking about Mac’s here), and even a couple of granny ladies, via their combined efforts, took great pride in discovering something they were looking for (their ‘ah haa’ smiles were priceless).

    One family did appear a wee bit be-fuddled, for a moment, but one of their kids, probably about 10 years old, finally got in to show Mom and Dad how simple it really is (believe Dad was a Microsoft type and he did not seem pleased his kid could ‘get it’ that quickly, oh well, like the song says “the men don’t know but the little girls understand”).

    So, in summary, get a pile of folks, add some Macs, presto – Instant Party

    And a Great Time was had by all.

    Thank You
    BC Kelly
    Tallahassee Fla

  8. I was in worst buy today to get some ink for my parents inkjet printer. . . an old Epson 740i btw, of course they didn’t have it. . . an older salesman comes up and asks to help me find my ink cartridge. After I tell him what I am looking for, he shows me the oldest printer cartridges they got. No problem I say I’ll go somewhere else and try and find it. As I turn to leave for some reason he starts telling me that he’s been in computers for 30 years and people are wrong about vista and he absolutely loves it. I cant believe all the bad press about it. I tell him that its hooked up to a Mac and that shuts him up and he leaves me alone. Mac’s weren’t even a possibility to this guy. I found the ink at Staples around the corner.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.