Minneapolis - Best Buy will expand its aftermarket car electronics sales and installation services to car dealers, fleet managers and insurance companies under a partnership with Seattle-based Car Toys.
The partnership, whose financial terms weren't disclosed, will take advantage of Best Buy's national footprint of retail locations and installation bays "to better serve large commercial customers on a broad basis," the companies said in a statement. *
The agreement means more competition nationwide for expediters, who install car electronics for car dealers, and for 12-volt dealers that have diversified into the insurance-replacement market.
A Best Buy spokesman said the business will be operated under the Best Buy brand but that the chain would be "leveraging Car Toys' expertise in the commercial channel to help us build the business." Best Buy's installers will do the install in the chain's bays, he added.
"This move is part of a broader strategy to grow and capture value in the after-market car electronics space, an industry which is undergoing a new wave of innovation and advancements driven by the customer's need for technology and connectivity in their vehicle," Best Buy added.
Best Buy operates more than 1,000 installation bays employing 3,000 certified Geek Squad installers.
Car Toys is the largest independent car audio and mobile electronics retailer in the U.S. with 50 stores, an online presence at CarToys.com, and a commercial services division. Its stores operate in western cities, including Seattle, Spokane, Portland, Denver, Colorado Springs, Ft. Collins, Houston, Dallas and Ft. Worth.