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Best Buy Bows Blue Label Series

10/08/2008 08:57:00 AM Eastern

Minneapolis — Best Buy today introduced its Blue Label series, a line of consumer electronic products developed exclusively for the retailer based on customer feedback. 

The retailer said it took customer insight regarding the kinds of features they’d like to see in a product and then worked with manufacturer partners to design products to meet these desires.

The line debuts with two laptops, one each from Hewlett-Packard and Toshiba. Best Buy said both laptops are less than 1.5 inches thick, weigh less than 5 pounds, feature exclusive exterior design, come with back-lit keyboards and a free two-year warranty. They also come with 30 days of support from Geek Squad. All of these features are said to reflect the desires of Best Buy customers.

“As the leading consumer electronics retailer, Best Buy has millions of interactions with consumers each year. We listened to our customers and learned that they wanted more from the feature set available on laptops so we went directly to manufacturers to fix that,” said Wendy Fritz, Best Buy’s computing senior VP, in a release. “Through the Blue Label process, we’re addressing cus






Best Buy is debuting its Blue Label line of exclusive CE products with laptops from HP (top) and Toshiba.

tomer pain points in a way that no retailer has done before and we’re giving manufacturers valuable insight to make products that address customer needs.”

Bruce Greenwood, HP’s North America consumer channel sales VP for its notebook product group, said of the deal, “We have a long relationship with Best Buy and see pairing their customer feedback and our dedication to research and development as an excellent way to meet notebook users’ needs and wants.”

Similarly, Jeff Barney, VP and general manager of Toshiba America’s digital products division, commented “Customer feedback is vital to our continuing commitment to a superior computing experience, combining the entertainment, performance and portability that consumers value most.”

The laptops began rolling out nationally this month; both models are priced at $1,199.

HP’s model is the HP Pavilion DV3510NR. It features a 13.3-inch diagonal HD widescreen display and back-lit keyboard. Other features include a lithium-ion battery said to provide up to four hours of battery life from a single charge, a range of connectivity options, an integrated Web cam and a microphone.

The Toshiba Satellite E105-S1402 is 1.2 inches thick, weighs just less than 5 pounds and features a 14.1-inch diagonal widescreen TruBrite TFT LCD display with a 1,280 by 800 native resolution. Its battery is said to offer 5.5 hours of battery life from a single charge. Other features include a variety of connectivity options, a back-lit keyboard, CD- and DVD-burning capabilities and Labelflash disc-labeling technology.

Best Buy said the laptops will be displayed in a section of the stores where consumers will have an opportunity to try the products. Specially trained Best Buy sales associates will also be on hand to answer questions and help customers choose a notebook to best meet their needs.

The retailer said it plans to eventually expand the Blue Label series to other product lines. Jason Bonfig, Best Buy’s computing VP, told TWICE he expected the expansion to take some time as the development phase for the notebooks took between 14 to 18 months.