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Best Buy Begins Mobile Build-Out

Minneapolis – Best Buy has begun rolling out
the first of 40 new Best Buy Mobile stores planned for this year.

According to the
Dallas Morning News, the retailer will limit their size to 1,200 square feet
and will locate the stores exclusively in shopping malls.

Best Buy Mobile
president Shawn Score told the paper that malls will deliver “a whole new
customer” that doesn’t frequent Best Buy’s flagship superstores, format tests

The company had opened
39 freestanding locations of varying size in six cities over the past three
years, and completed the rollout of Best Buy Mobile departments to each of its
flagship stores last year.

The Mobile business, operated with British partner Carphone
Warehouse, has helped Best Buy boost its market share in wireless to 3 percent,
while plans call for the company to quintuple its share to 15 percent, CEO
Brian Dunn recently told the Wall Street Journal.

The first of the
40 planned stores opened in Dallas over the weekend, and additional launches
are slated for Boston, Houston, Los Angeles and Miami.

In other Best Buy
news, the company’s Geek Squad services unit is six months into a test of providing
computer support and repairs remotely. According to Bloomberg News, about two
dozen Geek Squad “agents” are presently helping customers fix IT-related
problems from their own homes. Another 18 more may join the remote-support test
next month, when the services menu could expand to include TV and home-theater

In a related
development, hhgregg said it will begin offering in-store PC support for
customers by late November. The company, which recently added notebook and
netbook computers to its assortment, will initially provide PC setup service, and
will add wireless home network set-up and support services next year, the Akron
Beacon Journal reported.

Elsewhere, Best
Buy has won local planning commission approval to build its first wind turbine
at a retail store. According to the Eden Prairie News, the vertical axis
turbine would be mounted on the side of a Best Buy store located in its former
headquarters town of Eden Prairie, Minn.