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Best Buy rumored to give Apple's iPad to all its sales associates

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
A new report claims that big-box electronics retailer Best Buy may be preparing to hand out iPads to each of the on-floor sales associates in its 1,100 US stores.

"A source with knowledge of corporate mobile device deployments" has told Forbes that one of the 10 largest retailers in the U.S. will soon distribute iPads to all its sales staff. The source noted that the retailer in question operates 1,100 U.S. stores, making Best Buy, which had 1093 U.S. stores as of September 2010, the most likely candidate.

The report also notes that Best Buy is a natural match because of its existing relationship with Apple. When the original iPad was released last year, Best Buy was one of Apple's few launch day retail partners. Best Buy has already begun advertising the recently announced iPad 2, which goes on sale on March 11.

Best Buy's rumored widespread rollout of the iPad to its employees could come as part of the company's Connected Store initiative. The retailer launched a pilot program in 27 stores last year that gave several mobile devices, such as iPads, iPod touches and Samsung Galaxy Tabs, to sales associates for the purpose of educating consumers and processing purchases. According to the report, Best Buy has acknowledged that the Connected Store pilot could be expanded in the future.

As of 2010, Best Buy had 180,000 employees, but it's not immediately clear what percentage of those serve as on-floor sales staff and would be eligible for an iPad.

One possible explanation for the rumor could be that Best Buy is preparing an iPad-based point-of-sale and inventory management system. Apple currently uses an iPod touch-based EasyPay checkout system in its retail stores. In December of last year, AppleInsider reported that other retailers have been looking into implementing POS systems on the iPad and iPod touch.
post #2 of 29
Another possibility is they are clearing out their inventory of original iPads.
post #3 of 29
But they ran out of inventory before Apple's iPad 2 announcement and even removed the part number from their sales database a week before. Apple's resellers probably don't carry more than a 30-day supply meaning they probably received their last shipment about 45 days ago which would be in line with a 60-day manufacturing ramp for the iPad 2.

Most likely, Best Buy will deploy the Connected Store initiative on the iPad 2. After all, that's what they will be selling. Rather than reply to a curious customer who asks if they can buy one, "Well this is actually the old model..." it is preferable to say, "Sure. How many and what size?"
post #4 of 29
i "know somebody" that works in one of the connected store pilots. The ipads were not "given" to all sales associates-- about 15-20 ipads were available to be signed out by employees at the beginning of their shifts. The iPads had access to inventory lists to check availability as well as the bby.com website to check prices. Additionally, some associates used the iPads for logging calls throughout the day. Mostly they were used for facebook to make employees look busy.

Best Buy most definitely will not be giving iPads to all of their sales associates. In newer Best Buy stores--the ones that receive a full Connected Store layout--employee will most likely have access to a handful of iPads to distribute throughout the day. Sorry to any Best Buy employees reading this and hoping to receive a free iPad.. simply not the case.
post #5 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A new report claims that big-box electronics retailer Best Buy may be preparing to hand out iPads to each of the on-floor sales associates in its 1,100 US stores.

This would be ironic - seeing as how every time I've gone into a Best Buy looking for Apple product or software I get the "we don't carry it, Macs are lame, you should get a PC with Windows 7" shtick.

Multiple states and cities - same attitude.
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcarlton View Post

This would be ironic - seeing as how every time I've gone into a Best Buy looking for Apple product or software I get the "we don't carry it, Macs are lame, you should get a PC with Windows 7" shtick.

Multiple states and cities - same attitude.

This doesn't surprise me. The typical teenager who works in the computer department at Best Buy is an enthusiast gamer, living with his parents, who spends all his money on the latest insane glowy tower computer to heat his bedroom and play Crysis. He doesn't care for Apple products, nor can he afford one after buying his insane gaming rig.

Thankfully they tend recover from this illness given enough time.
post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

But they ran out of inventory before Apple's iPad 2 announcement and even removed the part number from their sales database a week before. Apple's resellers probably don't carry more than a 30-day supply meaning they probably received their last shipment about 45 days ago which would be in line with a 60-day manufacturing ramp for the iPad 2.

Most likely, Best Buy will deploy the Connected Store initiative on the iPad 2. After all, that's what they will be selling. Rather than reply to a curious customer who asks if they can buy one, "Well this is actually the old model..." it is preferable to say, "Sure. How many and what size?"

where did you get all that from?

Let me guess someone posted claiming that? Many of my local stores in the bay area have almost every version of the 1st gen. You can still find the item on their website. Now obviously they won't get any more once they sell what they have left but they are still being sold and likely be sold unless best buy decides to use for other purposes.
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcarlton View Post

This would be ironic - seeing as how every time I've gone into a Best Buy looking for Apple product or software I get the "we don't carry it, Macs are lame, you should get a PC with Windows 7" shtick.

Multiple states and cities - same attitude.

I'll confirm that. I'm going to see what happens come the 11th at my local BB but I probably ought to just shop the online Apple Store. Unfortunately I'm in a area where there are no retail Apple Stores for hours around.
post #9 of 29
Best Buy makes a lot of sense. When you go to a Best Buy store, and ask pretty much any question they run around the corner and use a PC to look up the answer using a web browser. It would be a lot easier to use a camera and look up the answer on the spot.
post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ufwa View Post

where did you get all that from?

Let me guess someone posted claiming that? Many of my local stores in the bay area have almost every version of the 1st gen. You can still find the item on their website. Now obviously they won't get any more once they sell what they have left but they are still being sold and likely be sold unless best buy decides to use for other purposes.

Well, right here.

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...nch_looms.html

If the information is wrong, bring it up with the people who run this site.
post #11 of 29
So assume average 20 salespeople per store.

1100 stores * 20 per store * $500 average price per iPad = $11 mill cost (tops) to Apple.

Probably some of the best $11 mill they could spend evangelizing the product.
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcarlton View Post

This would be ironic - seeing as how every time I've gone into a Best Buy looking for Apple product or software I get the "we don't carry it, Macs are lame, you should get a PC with Windows 7" shtick.

Multiple states and cities - same attitude.

What year are you posting from? I have been regularly shopping at 5 BB stores in the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex for the last 6 years and have NEVER heard that once. Many have a big Apple store-in-a-store visible directly upon entry into the store.
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by REC View Post

Probably some of the best $11 mill they could spend evangelizing the product.

Yes and no.

The Best Buy sales staff is legendary for its uselessness. I don't see even the iPad helping them.
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by sippincider View Post

Yes and no.

The Best Buy sales staff is legendary for its uselessness. I don't see even the iPad helping them.

I agree with you and the previous posters who said that this may be just a "while you are on the clock" type of thing. Perhaps they will be able to do price lookups (with the camera?) and so forth (in addition to best buy website look ups).
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by REC View Post

So assume average 20 salespeople per store.

1100 stores * 20 per store * $500 average price per iPad = $11 mill cost (tops) to Apple.

Probably some of the best $11 mill they could spend evangelizing the product.

What makes you think Apple is going to give those to Best Buy for free? I doubt that very much. Back in the early days of Apple, publishers and developers were able to purchase Apple computers for half of list price and they frequently seeded equipment for free (they once sent me a free Mac and Laser Printer), but now the discounts are very minimal - equivalent to the educational discount.
post #16 of 29
I agree, the teenage sales associates at Best Buy are pretty much worthless. I also doubt an Apple iPad would help them at all.
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

Another possibility is they are clearing out their inventory of original iPads.

Nope. Other articles on the subject have had replies by actual staff who say that thet are not being given iPads for personal use, but rather as info connections so they can stick by the product and still check stock, request items from the back etc

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by REC View Post

So assume average 20 salespeople per store.

1100 stores * 20 per store * $500 average price per iPad = $11 mill cost (tops) to Apple.

Probably some of the best $11 mill they could spend evangelizing the product.

Cheap advertising......

"What is that you are using to look up my new TV?"
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

What year are you posting from? I have been regularly shopping at 5 BB stores in the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex for the last 6 years and have NEVER heard that once. Many have a big Apple store-in-a-store visible directly upon entry into the store.

That's great for you - could be that the district manager in the Metroplex sets the tone for the stores in their area. But - just because you have a Christmas morning experience every time you walk into a DFW Best Buy doesn't mean at all that your experience is representative of everyone else's.

And, just because there may be a store-within-a-store at a location doesn't mean at all the store staff is remotely interested in dealing with it.

The BestBuys that I have tried buying Apple product in (usually while on business trips) - after which I finally gave up.

San Francisco (both Geary & Harrison)
Austin - South Lamar
Bastrop
Las Vegas (Maryland Parkway)
post #20 of 29
Perhaps they're being assigned iPads to help look up inventory or quick checkouts? Just a guess.
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

Another possibility is they are clearing out their inventory of original iPads.

Likely, seeing why salespersons need to have two cameras for work-related iPad plus, cheaper to use the old ones like you said, can be use to clear their inventory as well. They could also have some sort of preferential deal from Apple on the refurb stocks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by foxhunter101 View Post

I agree, the teenage sales associates at Best Buy are pretty much worthless. I also doubt an Apple iPad would help them at all.

Correction, their use of iPad is exactly to eliminate that providing management load up all the info on their iPad in the first place (and them knowing how to use one )


Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Perhaps they're being assigned iPads to help look up inventory or quick checkouts? Just a guess.

Nobody said it is for personal use. Definitely work related and will be handed in at the end of store business hours just like others. Inventory checking, description, form filling and check-outs.
post #22 of 29
Regardless of why or how Best Buy puts iPads into the hands of their employees, it has got to have a positive impact on their ability to answer questions and sell the iPad. Even if they are just being sent out onto the floor with one to do inventory for an hour or two a day, they will learn how easy it is to use and will be able to share that knowledge with customers. Gotta be a plus.

Gotta be better than what's happening over at Walmart... we have gone into three different stores so far... in each one the iPad "display" has amounted to one iPad on a shelf in a small locked glass case with no advertising material, placed there haphazardly, with bits of packing material on other shelves, looking like it was something that had been forgotten when the cabinet was being cleaned out. No one around to answer questions either. If you didn't know what it was, you would have no clue looking at it sitting there. I can't believe those stores were moving very many! Why is Apple wasting time with them? Surely some other retailer could do better. It reflects badly upon Apple.
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by zorinlynx View Post

This doesn't surprise me. The typical teenager who works in the computer department at Best Buy is an enthusiast gamer, living with his parents, who spends all his money on the latest insane glowy tower computer to heat his bedroom and play Crysis. He doesn't care for Apple products, nor can he afford one after buying his insane gaming rig.

Thankfully they tend recover from this illness given enough time.

And then they get on this site and spout off on how great their androids are and how easy they are to customize.
post #24 of 29
One more small nail in Android's coffin.
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by zorinlynx View Post

This doesn't surprise me. The typical teenager who works in the computer department at Best Buy is an enthusiast gamer, living with his parents, who spends all his money on the latest insane glowy tower computer to heat his bedroom and play Crysis. He doesn't care for Apple products, nor can he afford one after buying his insane gaming rig.

Thankfully they tend recover from this illness given enough time.

Hey now, I like my glowing space heater. >:[ lol
Trust me, if we're going by this argument, I wouldn't let people buy anything in our store either because everything's cheaper on newegg and we never carry enough hardware to actually build anything interesting; software's available on Steam, usually cheaper; and you can find better gaming mice and keyboards online as well.
However, since I like my job, selling a pricey Apple desktop is a job well done.
post #26 of 29
I would think the iPad would be well linked to BB's product sales and the cash register, credit cards etc.

What a splendid way to advertise the usability in the commercial world. I doubt it would be first generation iPad they get. Apple would prob give a good discount.

Remember thinking Applefans!
1. Answering an envyboy only encourages response.
2. Ignore and it gets bored.
3. Envy is their torment.

Just smile every time you see their rant 'n spiel or give a good ol' Nelson ha ha.

When I find time to rewrite the laws of Physics, there'll Finally be some changes made round here!

I am not crazy! Three out of five court appointed psychiatrists said so.

Reply

When I find time to rewrite the laws of Physics, there'll Finally be some changes made round here!

I am not crazy! Three out of five court appointed psychiatrists said so.

Reply
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcarlton View Post

This would be ironic - seeing as how every time I've gone into a Best Buy looking for Apple product or software I get the "we don't carry it, Macs are lame, you should get a PC with Windows 7" shtick.

Multiple states and cities - same attitude.

I am sorry you have had that kind of experience. When I approach my customers every one is asked whether or not they have considered a Mac. I had one couple that called me over, and while pointing to a $350 compaq that was on sale, said "we would like to get this computer, do you have any more in stock?" About an hour or so after I asked them what they were going to be using their computer for, they were walking out of the store with a brand new $1200 iMac. Another couple I approached while roaming the PC area, put their hand up the moment I mentioned Mac and said that their son was a high level Micro$oft executive so they were committed to a PC. Those people left with 15" MacBook Pro. The vast majority of my fellow coworkers in blue, use and recommend Macs whenever possible, at least at the store I work at. As much as I would enjoy working directly for Apple, I do like the opportunity I have to take customers who have never even entertained the idea of considering Apple as an option. I would say that about 75% of the Macs I sell are to people that came in strictly looking for a PC.
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheenzone View Post

i "know somebody" that works in one of the connected store pilots. The ipads were not "given" to all sales associates-- about 15-20 ipads were available to be signed out by employees at the beginning of their shifts. The iPads had access to inventory lists to check availability as well as the bby.com website to check prices. Additionally, some associates used the iPads for logging calls throughout the day. Mostly they were used for facebook to make employees look busy.

Best Buy most definitely will not be giving iPads to all of their sales associates. In newer Best Buy stores--the ones that receive a full Connected Store layout--employee will most likely have access to a handful of iPads to distribute throughout the day. Sorry to any Best Buy employees reading this and hoping to receive a free iPad.. simply not the case.

This seems like the post everyone should be paying attention to.
post #29 of 29
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