Business

Best Buy inches closer to becoming a dept. store with new ‘Windows Stores’ sections

Microsoft announced today that it reached an agreement to place Windows Stores within with the country’s biggest electronics retail chain, Best Buy.

For years, Best Buy has already sectioned off a portion of its store for rival company Apple with mini Apple Stores. And like the Best Buy Apple Stores, the Windows Store sections will have their own distinct display tablets and Windows branding in a 1,500-2,200 square ft. space located in the vicinity of where computers, laptops, tablets, e-readers, and the like all compete. There will probably be a Windows Store employee available to help customers wishing to buy something from the Windows Store within a store, too.

My general reaction to this is that Best Buy is quickly turning into the Dillard’s/Macy’s of electronic retail outlets. Only instead of personalized makeup counters, Best Buy gives its largest vendors a distinct space to sell their mobile devices and accessories. It already had the Apple Store section, the smaller Google Chromebook section, and now there’s the Windows Store section. (Will Nook or Amazon be the next one to install a separate section?)

There are several benefits to this strategy for Best Buy, too. I’m guessing that Microsoft is probably paying a premium for the floor space, which brings the Windows Stores to about 600 Best Buy locations. Microsoft probably also does some promotion/advertising/marketing for free in conjunction with Best Buy stores. And finally, this is really a great way to present these products to customers, which is sort of the key when you’re trying to actually boost sales.

Are you excited about these new Best Buy Windows Stores? Let us know in the comments, or shoot us a note @VentureBeat.

Photo via Microsoft


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