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Best Buy to double number of stores selling Apple's Mac line

post #1 of 30
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Leading U.S. electronics specialty retailer Best Buy said this week it plans to increase the number of stores carrying Apple Inc.'s Mac computer line twofold in the next several weeks, signaling robust demand for the Windows PC alternatives in the broader consumer market.

The comments came courtesy of Best Buy executives who held a session at this week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, where researchers from investment bank UBS were in attendance.

Following the meeting, analyst Ben Reitzes relayed a note to clients explaining that the executives were "very upbeat" about their ongoing relationship with Apple, adding that 500 of the company's 900 electronics stores could be selling Macs come the end of February.

The plan would effectively double the number of Best Buy stores carrying Apple's computer line at the end of 2007, where rough figures placed a healthy array of Macs in approximate 230 to 270 locations.

"Even with prospects for a slowing economy, we believe Mac demand can keep going strong given new products," Reitzes wrote in his note to clients. "The key question into Apples earnings is whether Best Buy and new Mac products can help drive upside while iPod demand seems more seasonal."

The analyst added that he expects several new Macs and consumer electronics products to arrive next Tuesday as part of the company's Macworld announcements, including an ultra-portable device, iPhone improvements, and a movie rental service.

Reitzes maintains a Buy rating on shares of Apple with a 12-month price target of $235 per share.
post #2 of 30
Did they provide any sort of indication as to where those stores would be?

Currently, nearest to me is Albany. Shoot, my closest full size Apple store is closer than that (Rochester) - and we have a mini store in the same mall as the larger Best Buy here. Given we're about to have our third Best Buy store here... couldn't we have an Apple dept. in _one_ of them?
post #3 of 30
Definitely happening in the Boston area. The spaces are too small and there isn't anyone who knows what they are talking about, but they are showing up.
post #4 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by acknight View Post

Did they provide any sort of indication as to where those stores would be?

Currently, nearest to me is Albany. Shoot, my closest full size Apple store is closer than that (Rochester) - and we have a mini store in the same mall as the larger Best Buy here. Given we're about to have our third Best Buy store here... couldn't we have an Apple dept. in _one_ of them?

According to the article, the odds are you will given the number of Best Buys near you.
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post #5 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

According to the article, the odds are you will given the number of Best Buys near you.

Let's hope that Best Buy is doing a better job of displaying and trying to sell Macs than the 2 Best Buy stores I've been in Tampa, Florida, USA. There was no one to talk to about the Macs and 1/2 of the Macs on display where inoperative: mouse froze up or not connected properly. CompUSA did a much better job than what I have seen at Best Buy so far. Of course, I have an Apple Store nearby, so there is no problem for me, but I'm sure potential buyers are being turned off from Macs by what I've seen in Best Buy so far.
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post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Royboy View Post

Let's hope that Best Buy is doing a better job of displaying and trying to sell Macs than the 2 Best Buy stores I've been in Tampa, Florida, USA. There was no one to talk to about the Macs and 1/2 of the Macs on display where inoperative: mouse froze up or not connected properly. CompUSA did a much better job than what I have seen at Best Buy so far. Of course, I have an Apple Store nearby, so there is no problem for me, but I'm sure potential buyers are being turned off from Macs by what I've seen in Best Buy so far.

I haven't seen Best Buy's Apple kiosk but I do recall that CompUSA's Apple section did not have new hardware for at least several weeks after they were available online and in bona fide Apple Stores. I wonder if Best Buy will suffer the sam fate of carrying outdated merchandise.
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post #7 of 30
I've noticed that the Best Buy and Future Shop here in downtown Toronto are both a model behind, at least when it comes to MacBooks (not a huge deal though, I suppose).
post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Royboy View Post

Let's hope that Best Buy is doing a better job of displaying and trying to sell Macs than the 2 Best Buy stores I've been in Tampa, Florida, USA. There was no one to talk to about the Macs and 1/2 of the Macs on display where inoperative: mouse froze up or not connected properly. CompUSA did a much better job than what I have seen at Best Buy so far. Of course, I have an Apple Store nearby, so there is no problem for me, but I'm sure potential buyers are being turned off from Macs by what I've seen in Best Buy so far.

That's discouraging. I was hoping for better. Twice in the past month i've been in the st petersburg best buy, checking out hard drives, and overheard computer sales conversations with customers. In both cases the salesmen were pushing pcs (the store doesn't stock macs). In both cases i waited til the conversations were over and spoke briefly with the customers about the merits of apple's computers. Both were familiar with macs; one already planned to go to the apple store. I also spoke to both salespersons. One agreed that macs were better but not part of his conversation because he didn't stock them. The other salesperson was a windows enthusiast.

If for no other reason that the benefit of customers, i'd like to see best buy embrace a mac display staffed by capable people.
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtdunham View Post

That's discouraging. I was hoping for better. Twice in the past month i've been in the st petersburg best buy, checking out hard drives, and overheard computer sales conversations with customers. In both cases the salesmen were pushing pcs (the store doesn't stock macs). In both cases i waited til the conversations were over and spoke briefly with the customers about the merits of apple's computers. Both were familiar with macs; one already planned to go to the apple store. I also spoke to both salespersons. One agreed that macs were better but not part of his conversation because he didn't stock them. The other salesperson was a windows enthusiast.

If for no other reason that the benefit of customers, i'd like to see best buy embrace a mac display staffed by capable people.

I believe some of Best Buys will also have an Apple retail employee(s) on staff to maintain and assist customers.
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post #10 of 30
This is, what, the third time Apple and Best Buy have tried to make this marriage work? Marriage isn't quite the term to use here. It's more like Munchausen by Proxy. Best Buy is the screwball mother that makes Apple sick in order to get attention. Yeah, we sell Macs, but look how sick they are. Why don't you look at this here PC.

On the other hand it could be battered spouse syndrome. Best Buy keeps abusing Apple but Apple keeps trying to make it work.

Take your pick. This won't work. Best Buy is a mass market retailer. They sell commodities, sugared water to recall an old SJ analogy. Apple is about quality for a price. You don't go to Best Buy to buy a McIntosh amplifier or turntable, pardon the pun. The two corporate cultures don't jive. It's sort of like Microsoft making, oh say, an office productivity suite for the Mac. Get the picture?
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

This is, what, the third time Apple and Best Buy have tried to make this marriage work? Marriage isn't quite the term to use here. It's more like Munchausen by Proxy. Best Buy is the screwball mother that makes Apple sick in order to get attention. Yeah, we sell Macs, but look how sick they are. Why don't you look at this here PC.

On the other hand it could be battered spouse syndrome. Best Buy keeps abusing Apple but Apple keeps trying to make it work.

Take your pick. This won't work. Best Buy is a mass market retailer. They sell commodities, sugared water to recall an old SJ analogy. Apple is about quality for a price. You don't go to Best Buy to buy a McIntosh amplifier or turntable, pardon the pun. The two corporate cultures don't jive. It's sort of like Microsoft making, oh say, an office productivity suite for the Mac. Get the picture?

It's also been Apple's fault. The last time Best Buy was selling Macs, it was during the fruit iMacs lifetime.

The problem was that Apple insisted in selling retailers a package tha consisted of ALL the colors. The problem was that the colors didn't sell evenly. Best Buy said that they wanted to buy more of the colors that were selling well, and fewer of those that weren't.

Apple refused, so Best Buy took them all off the shelves.

This wasn't the fault of Best Buy, but the stupidity of the Apple marketing machine, led by You Know Who.
post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtdunham View Post

That's discouraging. I was hoping for better. Twice in the past month i've been in the st petersburg best buy, checking out hard drives, and overheard computer sales conversations with customers. In both cases the salesmen were pushing pcs (the store doesn't stock macs). In both cases i waited til the conversations were over and spoke briefly with the customers about the merits of apple's computers. Both were familiar with macs; one already planned to go to the apple store. I also spoke to both salespersons. One agreed that macs were better but not part of his conversation because he didn't stock them. The other salesperson was a windows enthusiast.

If for no other reason that the benefit of customers, i'd like to see best buy embrace a mac display staffed by capable people.

The Apple Store in Tampa is in a good location at the International Mall. Just a hop across the bay and you are there. The only problem with it from my standpoint is that it is always packed with people. From Apple's standpoint, I sure that they look at it much differently....
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post #13 of 30
Apple, don't do it!

The clerks at Best Buy, in my experience, produce more FUD than sales. Maybe they are offered incentives to sell non-Apple products. Don't know. But I have personally heard a clerk selling customers away from iPods. And I have heard similar complaints from others.
post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Nagel View Post

Apple, don't do it!

The clerks at Best Buy, in my experience, produce more FUD than sales. Maybe they are offered incentives to sell non-Apple products. Don't know. But I have personally heard a clerk selling customers away from iPods. And I have heard similar complaints from others.

I think you are on the right track. From what I hear, Apple is very tight with the money end of profits for resellers and to sell a competing product, rather than Apple, more money goes to the business and the salesperson. Not that I blame them. I'm sure if I was given the choice of feeding my family or feeding Apple's shareholders, I would push people to buy the competing product.
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post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Royboy View Post

I think you are on the right track. From what I hear, Apple is very tight with the money end of profits for resellers and to sell a competing product, rather than Apple, more money goes to the business and the salesperson. Not that I blame them. I'm sure if I was given the choice of feeding my family or feeding Apple's shareholders, I would push people to buy the competing product.

I don't think it's so simple. This must be doing well or they wouldn't continually be expanding it. Best Buy is putting a lot of money into this. They aren't doing that to throw it away.
post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I don't think it's so simple. This must be doing well or they wouldn't continually be expanding it. Best Buy is putting a lot of money into this. They aren't doing that to throw it away.

Do yourself a favor and visit a local Best Buy that is carrying Mac computers. If you are like me and like Macs, and will not buy a Windows product, then I think you will be very disappointed in the way Best Buy is "promoting" Macs. Hopefully the 2 places I visited are not indicative of the rest of Best Buy stores that are selling Macs.
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post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Royboy View Post

Do yourself a favor and visit a local Best Buy that is carrying Mac computers. If you are like me and like Macs, and will not buy a Windows product, then I think you will be very disappointed in the way Best Buy is "promoting" Macs. Hopefully the 2 places I visited are not indicative of the rest of Best Buy stores that are selling Macs.

I've been to a couple of them here in NYC. Truthfully, they are no worse than any other computer store selling any other computers, and better than most I've seen.

If we're using Apple's own stores as a standard, then don't!

Apple's stores are there for a different purpose.

But as I said, no matter what anyone here thinks, if Best Buy is selling Macs at a decent pace, that's what matters. I doubt that both Apple and BB would be expanding this if it wasn't working, and that's the bottom line.

I also get the feeling whenever BB comes up that there are some people who just have a knee-jerk reaction towards them. I buy things in Best Buy's, and it no big deal. I go in, buy what I want, and leave.

I haven't noticed the Apple section as getting any LESS attention than the PC section, usually more.
post #18 of 30
The Best Buy here near the Arden Fair Mall in Sacramento sells Apple products in a small area, and their Macs were all working fine the last time I was there. I've routinely seen people mulling about the area. The selection of this store for a first round setup is odd, however, since there's a busy Apple store in the mall across the parking lot, an easy 5 minute walk away.

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post #19 of 30
From what I've seen in Charleston, SC, the Apple section is fairly well maintained. They have an Apple employee working there most of the time, and everything works properly. Granted, the experience is far from an Apple store, but with the closest one 250 miles away, I doubt people around here will make the comparison too much.
post #20 of 30
Hearing that others have seen better Apple Mac promoting at Best Buy that I have makes me feel better.
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post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlake View Post

From what I've seen in Charleston, SC, the Apple section is fairly well maintained. They have an Apple employee working there most of the time, and everything works properly. Granted, the experience is far from an Apple store, but with the closest one 250 miles away, I doubt people around here will make the comparison too much.


Same here at the Best Buy store in Chesapeake, VA (Norfolk/Virginia Beach area). Apple's computers were on the same bright wooden bench/table they have at the Apple store. It had a white and a black MacBook, two MacBook Pros, two iMacs and I think one PowerMac and Apple Cinema display. On the day I visited, it was manned by an Apple employee who transfered from the Apple store here in Norfolk, VA. There was a side shelf rack or whatever you'd like to call it that had accessories albeit limited. The only thing that I didn't care for was that, unlike CompUSA, the computers were not hooked up to the internet.

It was nice although smaller then the store within a store concept Apple had with CompUSA but enough to peek someone's interest. BUT definitely not an Apple store experience!\

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post #22 of 30
You see guys, it's NOT all bad.
post #23 of 30
I've never owned a mac before, but I'm looking forward to a MBP when I go to college full time. When visiting a Pittsburgh area Best Buy store, I went and started poking around the then-just-released leopard OS. I opened up photobooth and started looking at effects when the display's babysitter (a best buy employee) told me rather rudely to either buy a mac, or leave the store immediately. I asked why, and he said that he didn't have to give a reason.

If Best Buy doesn't like their customers looking at merchandise, then I will be sure to never go near their stores again, lest I get a fleeting glance of an end-cap display of overpriced CDs or prepaid cell phones.

I would encourage everyone to buy directly from Apple.
post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I believe some of Best Buys will also have an Apple retail employee(s) on staff to maintain and assist customers.

This is correct. I work at Best Buy and I am hoping that the store I work in will get them soon. There will be an apple trained employee available at the apple store within the BB store. The BB employees will help when the traffic is heavier in the apple area. I also have taken the learning courses explaining apple's products and when they come to each store we are required to take even more in depth courses. I'm not saying all Best Buy employees will be apple experts but we will know the basics.

I always tell people if they are interested in a macbook or imac that if they are willing to pay the money they will not be disappointed. My store is able to order them and have the computer shipped to the customer's house. I've done this a few times for customers who did not want to drive to the apple store or order via the apple website (they wanted to pay cash in the store).

People always ask me what type of PC I would buy and I say I don't own one. If they ask any further questions I say I have a mac and that they do the type of work I need to do better than PCs that are similarly priced and equipped. Most of the time they think I'm crazy to pay that much for a computer. I live in a town where the economy is hurting and people always shop based on price; too they end up paying more in the long run because they have to replace the $500 laptop every 12-18 months.
post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimXugle View Post

I've never owned a mac before, but I'm looking forward to a MBP when I go to college full time. When visiting a Pittsburgh area Best Buy store, I went and started poking around the then-just-released leopard OS. I opened up photobooth and started looking at effects when the display's babysitter (a best buy employee) told me rather rudely to either buy a mac, or leave the store immediately. I asked why, and he said that he didn't have to give a reason.

If Best Buy doesn't like their customers looking at merchandise, then I will be sure to never go near their stores again, lest I get a fleeting glance of an end-cap display of overpriced CDs or prepaid cell phones.

I would encourage everyone to buy directly from Apple.

That's very odd. I doubt id it's normal.

Butwe've also heard of Apple employees being rude, so you will get the rare case.

I wouldn't say to not buy from a non Apple store though. Apple wants, and needs, this distribution, or they wouldn't be pushing so hard for it.
post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimXugle View Post

I've never owned a mac before, but I'm looking forward to a MBP when I go to college full time. When visiting a Pittsburgh area Best Buy store, I went and started poking around the then-just-released leopard OS. I opened up photobooth and started looking at effects when the display's babysitter (a best buy employee) told me rather rudely to either buy a mac, or leave the store immediately. I asked why, and he said that he didn't have to give a reason.

If Best Buy doesn't like their customers looking at merchandise, then I will be sure to never go near their stores again, lest I get a fleeting glance of an end-cap display of overpriced CDs or prepaid cell phones.

I would encourage everyone to buy directly from Apple.

I agree. If you want to "play" with a Mac all day, you can do it in any Apple store.

If you're in a Best Buy, and a salesperson tells you to buy something or leave, I recommend asking for a manager.
post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtdunham View Post

That's discouraging. I was hoping for better. Twice in the past month i've been in the st petersburg best buy, checking out hard drives, and overheard computer sales conversations with customers. In both cases the salesmen were pushing pcs (the store doesn't stock macs). In both cases i waited til the conversations were over and spoke briefly with the customers about the merits of apple's computers. Both were familiar with macs; one already planned to go to the apple store. I also spoke to both salespersons. One agreed that macs were better but not part of his conversation because he didn't stock them. The other salesperson was a windows enthusiast.

If for no other reason that the benefit of customers, i'd like to see best buy embrace a mac display staffed by capable people.



What a good soldier you are! \



.
post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosstheboss View Post

What a good soldier you are! \



.

I'm happy you recognized that and proud of you pointing it out and bringing it to our attention.
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post #29 of 30
Greenville, SC will soon lose the best place to buy Mac gear (CompUSA). This past week I found out that our Best Buy will be getting a mini Apple Store in April or May.
post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosstheboss View Post

What a good soldier you are!

I'm a journalist, and one of my earliest--and most formative--jobs was as a consumer reporter. The lessons stuck: As my career progressed from reporting to editing to publishing, I ended up heading a magazine for the factory outlet retailing & shopping center industry--a business field I could engage in without feeling it was exploitive.

I'm not overly aggressive at the stores: on a different occasion I approached shoppers in a similar situation, but learned they had other computers and were committed to the windows platform. I wished them well and we parted, I think, on friendly terms. I don't want to be as zealous as the friend of my ex-wife who, when i tried to engage in friendly conversation in a parking lot, tried to convert me (to her God, not her computing platform god). I didn't like the way that felt, and i wouldn't want to make a Best Buy shopper feel that way! \
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