Best Buy recently opened a new store near its headquarters that takes design cues from Apple Store retail outlets, and it hopes the new layout will attract, and help, more customers. According to The Wall Street Journal, Best Buy’s new location has a Solution Central kiosk in the center of the store — not unlike Apple’s Genius Bar — that customers can visit for quick help from the company’s Geek Squad technical support team. In addition, Best Buy reportedly “slimmed-down” its location and is focused “less on displaying every conceivable gadget and more on connecting customers with employees who can answer questions or help program equipment,” The Wall Street Journal explained.
Best Buy’s current interim CEO, Mike Mikan, who replaced Brian Dunn amid a recent scandal, is calling the new outlet “Best Buy 2.0.” and hopes it ultimately caters to consumers better than ever before. “This is catch-up, if you will, but there’s much more to come,” Mikan said. The company will instead focus on its mobile offerings such as phones, e-readers and tablets, Mikan explained, and said that Best Buy will transition 60 of its existing stores to the new format. The retailer also has plans to close 50 other stores.
It’s still unclear if Best Buy’s changes will actually help the company turn itself around. Apple Store locations have likely succeeded because customers already know what they are buying when they enter the store: an Apple product. Best Buy offers Apple’s goods, but it also sells hundreds of other electronics from a range of manufacturers. The inability to focus on one brand could prove tough, no matter how Best Buy lays out its stores. That’s not taking into consideration our increasing preference, as consumers, to purchase goods online, either.
[via The Wall Street Journal]