Best Buy rumored to add Apple Genius Bars, display more Macs in stores

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Best Buy later this year may update its Apple store-within-a-store boutiques to feature a larger display of Macs in addition to staffed Genius Bars that would mirror those found in every Apple retail store.



The move could come as early as this spring, according to an anonymous Best Buy employee who tipped TUAW after reportedly being briefed on the matter by his official Apple representative.



If true, it would be the first time that Apple has expanded its trademark tech support service counters -- dubbed Genius Bars -- outside of its own brick-and-mortar retail stores.



Apple retail chief Ron Johnson has long referred to the Genius Bars as the "heart and soul" of his company's stores. The counters currently operate on a reservation system and are staffed by specially trained and certified Apple "Geniuses."



Customers can typically schedule a Genius Bar reservation online via their computer, iPod, iPhone or iPad, up to 72 hours in advance, or alternatively choose sign up for an open appointment once they arrive at the store.



Best Buy has worked in close partnership with Apple since 2006, when the two companies agreed to a 7-store pilot program designed to highlight Mac personal computers inside Best Buy retail stores.







The program, which has since expanded to roughly 500 Best Buy locations nationwide, has seen the placement of distinct Apple boutiques -- designed to rival mini Apple stores -- inside the specialty electronics retailer's computer departments.



Best Buy has also been the recipient of other preferred treatment from Apple. For instance, two years ago it became the first independent U.S. reseller to offer the iPhone to its customers. Last year, it was similarly the only retailer authorized to take pre-orders for the inaugural iPad alongside Apple.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    tzbtzb Posts: 19member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    distinct Apple boutiques -- designed to rival mini Apple stores



    What are these "mini Apple stores" that the Best Buy Apple boutiques are designed to rival?
  • Reply 2 of 37
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,515member
    Apple should hire, train and supply the trained staff for the store-within-a-store boutiques. They should not be staffed by Best Buy people.
  • Reply 3 of 37
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The program, which has since expanded to roughly 500 Best Buy locations nationwide, has seen the placement of distinct Apple boutiques -- designed to rival mini Apple stores -- inside the specialty electronics retailer's computer departments.



    I never really noticed how clean they keep the Apple stores until I stopped by our Best Buy Apple booth. The Apple table at BB was simply disgusting how dirty it was. They apparently don't clean the table or the equipment ever. I didn't want to touch anything there.
  • Reply 4 of 37
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,515member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    I never really noticed how clean they keep the Apple stores until I stopped by our Best Buy Apple booth. The Apple table at BB was simply disgusting how dirty it was. They apparently don't clean the table or the equipment ever. I didn't want to touch anything there.



    I agree. Plus the service is appalling. I waited for fifteen minutes while Best Buy staff talked amongst themselves then walked away. I eventually made the purchase I wished to make at a real Apple store a few weeks later (in seconds even on a very busy day). My post above says my feelings, Apple need to staff these places then they will be worth visiting.
  • Reply 5 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tzb View Post


    What are these "mini Apple stores" they they are design to rival?



    What are the Best Buy Apple boutiques supposed to rival? Nothing. This is all about proliferation. Best buy gets to sell a premium brand and justify their absurd prices and Apple gets to "set up shop" in a town where they would probably never build a store. The closest Apple store to me is about an hour away, Best Buy (as much as I loath that store) is 15 minutes. I think it's great that when my power adapter bonks out I can run to BB and not worry about buying online or taking a drive out of my way. I'm sure there is a large enough audience that is in the same boat within BB's audience.
  • Reply 6 of 37
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,515member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by spliff monkey View Post


    What are the Best Buy Apple boutiques supposed to rival? Nothing. This is all about proliferation. Best buy gets to sell a premium brand and justify their absurd prices and Apple gets to "set up shop" in a town where they would probably never build a store. The closest Apple store to me is about an hour away, Best Buy (as much as I loath that store) is 15 minutes. I think it's great that when my power adapter bonks out I can run to BB and not worry about buying online or taking a drive out of my way. I'm sure there is a large enough audience that is in the same boat within BB's audience.



    The word 'rival' was used in error in the article. I suspect tzb was pointing this out not asking a question.
  • Reply 7 of 37
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,200member
    What Apple needs to do is step up their surveillance as to how their stuff is done at BB. The three times I went there to specifically buy a higher-priced item iMac, MBA, there was no one to be found. The other BB guys I ask simply tell me they cannot help as there is one Apple person running it.



    My belief is that the individual working the Apple section is an Apple employee. I am disgusted as to how the areas (multiple stores) are maintained, and service of any kind is non-existent. The person(s) are never there.



    Honestly Apple, step up to the plate and start watching how these satellite stores are being run. This reminds me of years ago when Apple products were sold at Sears way back when and no one was essentially doing anything.
  • Reply 8 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    Apple should hire, train and supply the trained staff for the store-within-a-store boutiques. They should not be staffed by Best Buy people.



    I agree completely, and I expect this would be Apple's preferred approach. The big problem of course being supervision.
  • Reply 9 of 37
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,294member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    Apple should hire, train and supply the trained staff for the store-within-a-store boutiques. They should not be staffed by Best Buy people.



    My local Best Buy (in the midwest) has one of these mini stores. It does seem to be manned by someone who actually knows Macs instead of the usual 20 something PC geek squad reject who half-heartedly attempts to answer customer questions while barely suppressing the PC sneer on their faces. I still think Apple should pull out of Best Buy altogether. This joint is beneath them and their customers.
  • Reply 10 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    Apple should hire, train and supply the trained staff for the store-within-a-store boutiques. They should not be staffed by Best Buy people.



    Couldn't agree with you more D.



    Best
  • Reply 11 of 37
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    I agree. Plus the service is appalling. I waited for fifteen minutes while Best Buy staff talked amongst themselves then walked away. I eventually made the purchase I wished to make at a real Apple store a few weeks later (in seconds even on a very busy day). My post above says my feelings, Apple need to staff these places then they will be worth visiting.



    Do you have an Apple Store near you, or is Tampa still the closest outside of your local Best By kiosk?
  • Reply 12 of 37
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,189member
    So apple is going to take over service and take money from Best buys black tie.



    Can't see the buy being cool with that. Especially if they keep it free like at the apple stores.
  • Reply 13 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    So apple is going to take over service and take money from Best buys black tie.



    Can't see the buy being cool with that. Especially if they keep it free like at the apple stores.



    Apple is already in charge of hiring at Best Buy stores. Most have an Apple-paid person on staff for the Mac section.
  • Reply 14 of 37
    penchantedpenchanted Posts: 1,070member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    So apple is going to take over service and take money from Best buys black tie.



    Can't see the buy being cool with that. Especially if they keep it free like at the apple stores.



    Since this move requires Best Buy's cooperation, I'd say that they have already bought in.
  • Reply 15 of 37
    I'm glad the young folk that work at Best Buy have jobs, but they are NOT the Apple quality personnel that I am used to.
  • Reply 16 of 37
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,515member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Do you have an Apple Store near you, or is Tampa still the closest outside of your local Best By kiosk?



    I was in Boston actually Awesome store!



    But yes, Tampa is closest or Brandon I think is the same from here.
  • Reply 17 of 37
    galleygalley Posts: 971member
    Our Apple shop at Best Buy has always been run by an Apple employee. Before that, he ran the Apple shop at CompUSA.
  • Reply 18 of 37
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,515member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Galley View Post


    Our Apple shop at Best Buy has always been run by an Apple employee. Before that, he ran the Apple shop at CompUSA.



    How does that make him a direct employee of Apple? Not arguing, just curious.
  • Reply 19 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post


    My local Best Buy (in the midwest) has one of these mini stores. It does seem to be manned by someone who actually knows Macs instead of the usual 20 something PC geek squad reject who half-heartedly attempts to answer customer questions while barely suppressing the PC sneer on their faces. I still think Apple should pull out of Best Buy altogether. This joint is beneath them and their customers.



    I think they are Apple staffed employees. Apple is essentially just renting space inside the store. Best Buy is basically Apple's rural solution. They want to expand their presence outside of big cities. The Apple Store is focused on areas with large populations. It is probably difficult for them to hire in some of these areas that don't have an existing mac presence. When it comes to Apple, visit a smaller town and you feel like you were just transported 5 years in to the past.
  • Reply 20 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    How does that make him a direct employee of Apple? Not arguing, just curious.



    On Apple's payroll, hired by Apple.
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