Best Buy and Microsoft recently announced an agreement to open Windows “stores” in 600 Best Buy locations across the country. Initially, this seems like a good strategy—Microsoft gets their products in front of more consumers while Best Buy becomes more experiential and better utilizes its large store footprints. In my mind, there are some clear advantages, but this definitely triggers a shift in strategy for both entities, and I wonder how consumers will embrace this model and what the success (or failure) of this plan will mean for the future of brick-and-mortar stores. In the latest edition of Retail Rap, I dissect the agreement between Best Buy and Microsoft and discuss what this means for each company and how it could affect the retail industry going forward.
This raises what I think are some fascinating questions about how this degree of brand-focused segmentation within the store will benefit Best Buy. Financially, it seems like a surefire winner — at least in the near term. That said, this represents a fairly significant shift in strategy (or, at least, a fairly significant expansion of what was formerly an Apple-only domain) and it remains to be seen how this plays with consumers. There’s a good argument to be made that, if it’s executed well, this model could help Best Buy become more experiential and better utilize its large store footprints.
Check out the full article from my recurring column, Retail Rap, at Chain Store Age.