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Best Buy Opening Intel Shops

MINNEAPOLIS – Best Buy’s next branded vendor shop goes to … Intel.

The No. 1 CE chain said it’s opening Intel Technology Experience Zones in 50 stores in major U.S. markets and should complete the rollout by month’s end.

The roughly 240-square-foot shops are staffed by specially- trained Blue Shirt sales associates, and showcase cuttingedge technologies like 3D printing and augmented reality.

The sections also present a selection of Intel-equipped tablets and laptops.

“People don’t normally have the opportunity to experience the kind of cutting-edge technology that will be featured in these shops,” said Jason Bonfig, Best Buy’s senior category officer for computing and tablets. “It’s a natural extension of our goal to showcase the endless possibilities of technology and ignite our customers’ imaginations.”

Demos include building and printing a 3D robot; interacting with a Martian landscape in an augmented reality display; and remixing tracks by Ne-Yo as a digital DJ, the company said.

The Intel shops join branded in-store boutiques by Apple, Samsung, Sony and Microsoft, as Best Buy continues to parcel out dedicated floor space to vendors in effort to boost store productivity and traffic.