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Apple to drop ship MacBooks for 47-store Best Buy expansion

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Exclusive: Apple Computer and Best Buy this week began final preparations to extend a pilot program, aimed at promoting Mac sales, to 47 Best Buy locations nationwide, AppleInsider has learned.

The expansion, which builds upon an initial test pilot of approximately six stores, is due to roll out the week of Nov. 26 and include 17 stores in California, 7 in New Jersey, 5 in Virginia, 4 in New York, 3 in Illinois and another 3 in Massachusetts.

Each of the stores is due to receive a full array of Apple hardware, including desktop systems, notebooks and displays. Stores will also stock a select array of Apple software, as well as Apple accessories like notebook bags, power adaptors and connectivity cables.

Best Buy locations participating in the program should start receiving inventory of Apple products through their distributor over the next two weeks, people familiar with the program say. The exception being 13-inch MacBook notebooks, which Apple will drop ship to each Best Buy store on its own in order to assure ample product flow throughout the holiday shopping season.

Apple has asked that Best Buy locations keep their new Mac inventory under lock until a team of Apple personnel arrive on site later this month to help set up special in-store displays. Each store will feature a newly designed planogram (or product display) that feature specifically assigned placements for each Apple product.

"Best Buy and Apple have been working together for some time on a partnership. It makes sense to put a very successful brand of computers in the most successful national retailer," Best Buy told staff members in a memo earlier this week. "One of our goals with Apple is to become the partner of choice with them versus having them team with one of our competitors. We will prove to Apple that Best Buy is the best place and has the best sales people to sell their products."

People familiar with the program say approximately half of the stores will employ Apple Solution Consultants (or ASCs), which are dedicated sales consultants hired and paid for by Apple. The other half will be allocated an additional 25 hours per week of staff assignment from Best Buy's PC Home Office sales team.

Best Buy store listings for expanded Mac pilot

Beginning this week, the electronics retailer is making available five distinct e-learning courses to help its staff become acquainted with Apple's product offerings. It is encouraging that all staff members complete the courses, but requires that only one employee from each store complete all five and become an "Apple Expert" ahead of the Nov. 26 program expansion.

"We understand that these will be difficult to complete during the busy month of November, but it's very important that employees know the Apple product prior to this launch to ensure a successful holiday season," the retailer told employees.

According to those familiar with the program, Best Buy in February will ask stores that do not feature an ASC to elect a member of their sales team to fly out to Cupertino, Calif., where they'll attend an extensive training session at Apple's headquarters.

In addition to offering a vast array of Apple products, the 47 Best Buy outlets joining the Mac pilot program will also be authorized to service and repair Macs, those same people said.

Apple originally announced that it would be expanding the Mac pilot program at Best Buy during a quarterly conference call with analysts last month.

In research reports released earlier this year, analysts said a full expansion of the program to Best Buy's 900+ locations could generate as much as $400 million in additional Mac revenue each year.

Apple is also evaluating a similar pilot program at a handful of Circuit City stores, but thus far has not provided any feedback on that initiative.
post #2 of 27
Just an FYI, the program has been underway for some time at the San Diego Best Buy in Mission Valley (it's not on the list of stores in the story).
post #3 of 27
This is a very good thing for Apple, brings the option closer to those of us without a Apple Store within a few hours...

One thing that I do NOT understand about Apple... They should look at major school districts that use Apple Mac products, and target those local Best Buys... For example in my location, there is a major laptop initiative for 7-8th grade (1000 MacBooks) The number of parents that would buy family Macs would go up significantly, if a local Best Buy would be one of the partner stores... Oh well, always can drive 2+ hours to an Apple store instead...

They should take advantage of the momentum in the education area, and build through the families of those kids...

Just a thought.
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeState

Just an FYI, the program has been underway for some time at the San Diego Best Buy in Mission Valley (it's not on the list of stores in the story).

Hows it working? If you visit the store do they (salespeople) still push pc crap on you?
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeState

Just an FYI, the program has been underway for some time at the San Diego Best Buy in Mission Valley (it's not on the list of stores in the story).

I believe this was one of the initial 6 in the pilot that launched earlier in the year. So total there will be 53-54 total stores after Nov. 26.

Best,

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post #6 of 27
I hope Best Buy seriously gets their act together this time. When my store had the Mac Mini, nobody knew how to use it. And later they sold the keyboard from the display model. So there's a mini sitting there with an apple desktop screensaver and no way to try it out, except with the mouse. Why they didn't plug a generic keyboard in I have no idea.
post #7 of 27
The problem with selling macs in best buys and circuit citys is you'll never get the same experience that you would from an Apple store. This might have economical values for Apple but Apples always been more about the user experience and not just another computer sitting next to some Toshiba. Especially when you have some idiot who's only working there cause they know how to unjam their printer at home and decide that selling these things would be a good idea. Id get so frustrated if a potential switcher comes in and asks about the mac mini and all the kid says is "uh well i don't have much experience with that computer but this Sony Vaio is great for everything from web surfing to photo editing."
post #8 of 27
Sweet
post #9 of 27
Now where Ireland's fuckin' store.
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post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider

Exclusive: Apple Computer and Best Buy this week began final preparations to extend a pilot program, aimed at promoting Mac sales, to 47 Best Buy locations nationwide, AppleInsider has learned.

The expansion, which builds upon an initial test pilot of approximately six stores, is due to roll out the week of Nov. 26 and include 17 stores in California, 7 in New Jersey, 5 in Virginia, 4 in New York, 3 in Illinois and another 3 in Massachusetts.

Each of the stores is due to receive a full array of Apple hardware, including desktop systems, notebooks and displays. Stores will also stock a select array of Apple software, as well as Apple accessories like notebook bags, power adaptors and connectivity cables.

Best Buy locations participating in the program should start receiving inventory of Apple products through their distributor over the next two weeks, people familiar with the program say. The exception being 13-inch MacBook notebooks, which Apple will drop ship to each Best Buy store on its own in order to assure ample product flow throughout the holiday shopping season.

Apple has asked that Best Buy locations keep their new Mac inventory under lock until a team of Apple personnel arrive on site later this month to help set up special in-store displays. Each store will feature a newly designed planogram (or product display) that feature specifically assigned placements for each Apple product.

"Best Buy and Apple have been working together for some time on a partnership. It makes sense to put a very successful brand of computers in the most successful national retailer," Best Buy told staff members in a memo earlier this week. "One of our goals with Apple is to become the partner of choice with them versus having them team with one of our competitors. We will prove to Apple that Best Buy is the best place and has the best sales people to sell their products."

People familiar with the program say approximately half of the stores will employ Apple Solution Consultants (or ASCs), which are dedicated sales consultants hired and paid for by Apple. The other half will be allocated an additional 25 hours per week of staff assignment from Best Buy's PC Home Office sales team.

Best Buy store listings for expanded Mac pilot

Beginning this week, the electronics retailer is making available five distinct e-learning courses to help its staff become acquainted with Apple's product offerings. It is encoring that all staff members complete the courses, but requires that only one employee from each store complete all five and become an "Apple Expert" ahead of the Nov. 26 program expansion.

"We understand that these will be difficult to complete during the busy month of November, but it's very important that employees know the Apple product prior to this launch to ensure a successful holiday season," the retailer told employees.

According to those familiar with the program, Best Buy in February will ask stores that do not feature an ASC to elect a member of their sales team to fly out to Cupertino, Calif., where they'll attend an extensive training session at Apple's headquarters.

In addition to offering a vast array of Apple products, the 47 Best Buy outlets joining the Mac pilot program will also be authorized to service and repair Macs, those same people said.

Apple originally announced that it would be expanding the Mac pilot program at Best Buy during a quarterly conference call with analysts last month.

In research reports released earlier this year, analysts said a full expansion of the program to Best Buy's 900+ locations could generate as much as $400 million in additional Mac revenue each year.

Apple is also evaluating a similar pilot program at a handful of Circuit City stores, but thus far has not provided any feedback on that initiative.

What the (*^& did we pennsylvanians do to tick Apple off? Unless you live in Pittsburgh or Philadelphia you're SOL.
post #11 of 27
Interesting that they're only expanding to Best Buys in areas already saturated with Apple stores. Wonder when they'll start their own 50-state strategy?
post #12 of 27
I went to the Best Buy in SoHo NYC, a few blocks away from the Apple store. I asked the sales guy how the iMac was. he told me it "Sucked" That you couldn't run any programs on it, and that it was only for designers. I said "You can run office on it" He said "Yeah, but it not easy" This is why Apple needs it's own stores.
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caribou Killa

The problem with selling macs in best buys and circuit citys is you'll never get the same experience that you would from an Apple store.

That may be true, but at least Best Buy - especially those with ASCs - will provide exposure that otherwise isn't available to the customer.

I've spent a lot of time talking to the local ASC at CompUSA here in Tulsa and he is outstanding i terms of working with you on questions, even after the sale. I've also seen him work with customers looking at Apple for the first time and am impressed with how easily he helps them understand the Mac.

Best Buy stores without this type of ASC support are probably going to have a hard time matching the store that have them - including the CompUSA stores that are close by.

The other thing that will be interesting is how the PC sales staff looking for their spiffs will react to the Macs in the store.
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post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac

Hows it working? If you visit the store do they (salespeople) still push pc crap on you?

Actually the guy there pushed the Macs on the PC people (College students looking at laptops). He told me they had Apple specific employees as well that only worked on the Macs. It seemed to work well. Also it has a prime spot in the store, anyone coming into the store sees the Apple section.
post #15 of 27
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post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by jawporta

I went to the Best Buy in SoHo NYC, a few blocks away from the Apple store. I asked the sales guy how the iMac was. he told me it "Sucked" That you couldn't run any programs on it, and that it was only for designers. I said "You can run office on it" He said "Yeah, but it not easy" This is why Apple needs it's own stores.

Yeah, they suck to him 'cause he's getting kickbacks for PC sales. Best Buy retards.

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post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ai51240

Interesting that they're only expanding to Best Buys in areas already saturated with Apple stores. Wonder when they'll start their own 50-state strategy?

The genius bars at the Apple stores get backed-up so I'd believe having these stores with the Geek Squad to repair your Apple product is a way to deal with the overflow. This is most true during the holidays.
post #18 of 27
In canada they've had macs in best buy for a while but the people that work there no nothing about them and keep them in shitty condition. Hopefully the training program is sent up here too.
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post #19 of 27
Anyone notice the places for the pilot program also have Apple stores nearby?
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeState

Actually the guy there pushed the Macs on the PC people (College students looking at laptops). He told me they had Apple specific employees as well that only worked on the Macs. It seemed to work well. Also it has a prime spot in the store, anyone coming into the store sees the Apple section.

That's good to hear. What worries me is what happened in post #12.
post #21 of 27
Quote:
I hope Best Buy seriously gets their act together this time. When my store had the Mac Mini, nobody knew how to use it. And later they sold the keyboard from the display model. So there's a mini sitting there with an apple desktop screensaver and no way to try it out, except with the mouse. Why they didn't plug a generic keyboard in I have no idea.

Hahaha PCs use real keybardss. MAC are only for artsts and photography. THey aren't compatable and thats why no one uses them1!!
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post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland

Now where Ireland's fuckin' store.

Um, you can buy a Mac in O2 shops and PC World. Also, there are a few other computer and camera shops around Dublin that stock Macs. I get my Mac stuff from the online store where I can avail of the student discount *hugs never expiring uni email address*
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich

Yeah, they suck to him 'cause he's getting kickbacks for PC sales. Best Buy retards.

Yeah, because the part-time sales guy making $8/hr is getting all kinds of kick backs. Whatever. As long as they train the employees on the new product, which it seems they are making a priority, then I think this is a great way to increase sales and exposure. I'll bet 90% of customers looking at computers don't even know there's a difference and would never go to an Apple store for a new computer.
post #24 of 27
I used to work at BBY-- hating every moment of it, though they paid decently, it wasn't nearly enough for me to put up with all the BS they sent their employees through.

I always sent people to the Apple stores (if they were looking for a Mac in particular...), because the people there I've always had experience with love Apple, and were like mini-steve-jobs running about. To top that off, in the 9 months I worked there, I only had one or two people coming in asking for them specifically. The other hundreds I dealt with probably didn't know what a Mac was, much less desired to buy one.

Personally, after my experience working at BBY, I wouldn't buy a computer from them. *It was that bad*. But whatever makes Apple happy.

I really doubt the majority of the PCHO workers will know anything about Macs, or care to learn anything about them. Just like at CompUSA the Apple guy didn't really make me too excited about getting one.... ;/ They sell PCs more than anything, and usually push whatever gets them the most money. (They'd want us to push the other MP3 plays over iPods because we got more of a markup on those... etc..)

I'd go back and work as their apple specialist (they might add that in!) just to get the employee discount, but to be honest, If I wanted a job for the discount I'd prolly go to the Apple store instead. I'd rather get apple products discounted... (though, saying, BBY's emp discount fucking ROCKED. but yeah...)
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post #25 of 27
This is stupid. Just like selling Macs at CompUSA.
post #26 of 27
The CompUSA in Lansing, MI has been selling macs for a few years now. I think its better than selling them at Best Buy. I went to BBY to try the Zune last night and some chick couldn't tell the family next to me why the 2GB iPod was cheaper than the 4GB!!!!!

By the way - I just wanted to see how horrible the Zune really is... and it is HORRIBLE. The navigation is reverse polish notation, and the click wheel is definitely not more intuitive than the scroll wheel, as the asshat in the interview said. Face it Microsoft - you rushed to get this product out, and you will pay for it...more than you already are!

No vista support, no video support, crappy store, crappy brown, and no scroll wheel.... I can't wait to see the Zune phone!!!!! yes - that was sarcasm
post #27 of 27
The CompUSA here in Greenville, SC sells Macs like they are going out of style. They sold 24 MacBook Core 2 Duo models on the first day.
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