Best Buy Joins Amazon As 3rd-Party Seller For New Fire TVs

Models will be sold under Toshiba, Insignia brands
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Jeff Bezos (left) and Hubert Joly

Jeff Bezos (left) and Hubert Joly

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em

Amazon and Best Buy announced they’re teaming up to bring Amazon’s next-gen Fire TVs to retail this summer. As part of this, Best Buy is joining Amazon as a third-party seller.

More than 10 4K and HD Fire TV Edition models from Toshiba and Insignia will launch this summer. Insignia is Best Buy’s private-label brand, and the Toshiba brand is controlled by Hisense.

In a statement, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos cited the retailers’ “long history of working together” and said they’re taking the partnership to a new level.

Indeed, this is far from the first rodeo duet for the two retail giants. Best Buy has long sold Amazon’s Kindle, Fire and Alexa devices and already has a track record of dedicating sales-floor displays for its competitors’ products. The retailer also enables consumers to purchase select products via Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.

Watch: Why An Online Sales Tax Would Be Good For Amazon

As part of this leveling up, the new Fire TVs will be sold exclusively in Best Buy stores, on BestBuy.com, and, of course, on Amazon.com. On Amazon, they will be sold from Best Buy as a third-party seller.

Stephen Baker, NPD Group VP and technology and mobile industry advisor, cautioned against viewing this announcement as two retailers pitted against each other.

“Everyone is frenemies nowadays,” he said, noting that Best Buy already sells on eBay as a third-party seller.

The deal bring mutual benefits to both companies. Amazon is in need of expanded retail channels in order to successfully scale its hardware business, while Best Buy will in turn cement its image as the retail destination for all of the latest and greatest CE, Baker said.

“Best Buy is taking advantage of the fact Amazon is having trouble getting the Fire OS on TVs, and Best Buy offers them an enormous platform to be able to do that [with this exclusive commitment],” said Baker.

“Best Buy wants to be the place for customer choice.”

Best Buy will have branded displays in all of its U.S. stores for the Fire TVs, a company spokesman told TWICE. The smart TVs are geared toward cord cutters and, as such, require an HD antenna in order to access broadcast TV. A remote with Alexa voice control will be included.

Pricing will be revealed closer to launch.

See: Kohl’s Testing Amazon-Staffed Smart-Home Sections

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