Best Buy rolls out con­sult­ing ser­vice at peo­ple’s homes

The Korea Times - - WORLD BUSINESS -

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.

AP-Yon­hap

Best Buy sign at a store is seen in Hialeah, Fla., May 22.

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