San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. Almost a year since it entered the mobile video arena, Best Buy is continuing to expand the category, and is making inroads into custom installation, according to buyer Mike Manske.
Despite its mass merchant status, the company says it is seeing more custom installations as prices fall on custom overhead consoles, and the store begins to attract second-time buyers. "What we're seeing is some return customers that may have had a portable with a 4-inch screen who now want more advanced systems with larger screens that integrate not only in the ceiling but with factory or existing radio systems," said Manske.
This summer the 419-store chain will also begin testing navigation products, beginning with a Garmin turn-by-turn system, Mankse said.
Current mobile video suppliers for Best Buy include Steel Horse, Rosen, Clarion and Apex (compared to just three brands last year). Best Buy increased its product assortment this year to eight VCR and DVD SKUs ranging from a $299 Grab 'N Go portable system from Steel Horse to custom consoles from Rosen. Also carried are screens ranging from 5.6 to 9 inches.
Said Manske, "We're very pleased with our sales. The first calendar quarter was above expectations as it was our first winter with mobile video and we didn't know what kind of seasonality the product would have. Given the results from January through March, we're really optimistic about the peak drive season this year."