Best Buy rolls out consulting service at people’s homes
NEW YORK (AP) — Best Buy is rolling out a free service next month where salespeople will sit with customers at their own homes to help make recommendations on TVs, streaming services and more.
The service, which was tested in five markets, will be expanded to more cities around the country. Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly said Tuesday that the service is a way to unlock “latent” customer demand — the company has found that shoppers spend more at the home than they do at the stores.
Best Buy, the nation’s largest consumer electronics retailer, is trying to make itself indispensable to shoppers as people shop more online. It’s been beefing up its customer service in the appliance areas of its stores.
This fall, it’s showcasing experiences of voice-activated devices from the likes of Amazon’s Alexa-controlled Echo and Google Assistant at 700 stores.
Amazon, though, has reportedly also been trying out a program that sends its employees to shoppers’ houses for free “smart home” recommendations. Amazon couldn’t be reached immediately for comment.
So far, Best Buy’s strategies are resonating with shoppers. It raised its full-year profit and revenue outlook Tuesday after second-quarter results that beat Wall Street estimates.
Revenue at U.S. stores open at least a year rose 5.4 percent, while Wall Street had estimated a 2.2 percent increase. Sales of products like smart home devices, mobile phones, and appliances were especially strong. Online sales soared about 31 percent.
“I see a wealth of opportunity to push the company forward,” Joly said.
Best Buy sign at a store is seen in Hialeah, Fla., May 22.