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Best Buy Adding ‘Gadget’ Section

Best Buy launched a dedicated “gadget” and e-reader gift section within its stores and Web site this month.

The holiday shopping space, first reported here last July, will include novelty devices by Sharper Image, children’s electronics from Leapfrog, and e-books by Sony and iRex Technologies. The latter is a joint venture with Barnes and Noble, Best Buy and Verizon.

The area will be adjacent to, and take floor space from, the centrally located music and movie department — a fading traffic driver that Best Buy plans to supplant with demonstrations of connected technologies.

The “Gadgets and eReaders” area similarly employs interactive displays and educational signage to help explain the products and encourage customers to try them. The assortment spans more than 120 different devices across multiple categories at prices starting at $5, and with about half priced between $25 and $75.

“We’ve broadened our entertainment offering to address the reality that today people are looking to technology to help them entertain their minds in lots of different ways,” said Chris Homeister, the company’s entertainment senior VP.

Novelty CE include:

  • a dozen products from Sharper Image, including a folding travel iPod dock, portable media/entertainment projector and wireless shower mirror;
  • Livescribe’s Pulse smartpen, a portable widescreen TV from Axion and miBook’s digital A/V players; and
  • brain games, such as Rubik’s TouchCube and Mattel’s Mindflex, which uses mental concentration to manipulate a floating ball.

Children’s learning devices include:

  • Leapfrog’s Tag Junior book pal and Leapster 2 preschool learning game system;
  • the Did hand-held game; and
  • virtual entertainment products for children, including Tracksters online racing, Kiz Toys action figures, Mattel Xtractaurs figures and Warner Freaky Creatures, which all connect to PCs via USB cable.

Best Buy is also offering two e-readers: Sony’s Reader Touch & Pocket Edition and the wireless iRex DR800SG e-reader.

The assortment is also available online through a dedicated micro site at