Best Buy bullish on connected home products
NEW YORK (AP) — Best Buy Co., the nation’s largest consumer electronics chain, is rolling out dedicated areas that focus on products and services that allow customers to do a variety of tasks remotely, from opening their garage doors to lowering their thermostats.
The so-called “connected home” departments will be in 400 of the 1,400 Best Buy stores in the U.S. by mid-November and will feature more than 100 products with an expanded assortment on its website. Products range from $50 to $350, and many of the items are available in the $100 to $200 range.
Previously, Best Buy had a few dozen products that were scattered throughout the store, according to company officials. But with more consumers embracing the trend and with the increasing affordability of the products, the consumer electronics chain saw a need to make a bigger statement. Other retailers like Wal-Mart and Home Depot are also expanding their offerings in this area.
“This is an area that has consumer interest,” said Josh Will, Best Buy’s senior vice president and general merchandise manager for cellphones, connected home products and its Mobile Specialty stores. “Manufacturers have also done an excellent job.”
Among the products and services that will be featured in Best Buy’s connected home area are video monitoring that includes security cameras and systems, as well as smart thermostats and lighting that can be changed with an app on a smartphone. The departments will be staffed by expert employees who will do the installations and make sure that customers’ homes have the right Internet connection and other networking setups so the devices work smoothly.