Best Buy Launches Home-Energy Centers, Adds More Connected Store Remodels

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Best Buy has formally entered the home-energy management business, and continues to remodel additional flagship locations with its new connected store format.

Still in its early stages, the energy effort includes instore departments within three flagship locations and an online “learning center” at

, which provide technology products, solutions and services to help consumers evaluate, control and reduce their energy consumption and costs.

Both the micro site and the physical departments, located within Best Buy stores in Chicago, Houston, and San Carlos, Calif., provide such services as self-assessment tools, home-energy surveys and audits, and product installation.

“Through several small-scale experiments over the past two years, from home-energy audits to installation of home charging stations for electric vehicles, we have learned there is real consumer interest in options to cut energy costs and use in their lives, particularly in the home,” said Neil McPhail, Best Buy’s senior VP, new business customer solutions group. “Our role is to help consumers make the most of the technology in their lives, and the Home Energy concept is our latest experiment that will demonstrate the knowledge and expertise of our employees, and how our brands and our channels can help consumers understand how to own, use, and maintain energy efficient technologies.”

The three in-store concept departments feature demonstration vignettes for a hands-on experience with home-energy management, home control and home assurance technologies. A “consultation bar” with dedicated Blue Shirt sales associates and Geek Squad tech staff can guide customers through questions about products, solutions and featured services, including energy assessments, home-energy surveys and audits, product installation, and local energy incentives and rebates from partner utilities Constellation Energy in Chicago, Reliant in Houston, and Pacific Gas and Energy in San Carlos.

Online, the Home Energy Learning Center on

was designed to deliver “a content-rich experience” about home-energy management solutions and services, including product demonstration videos, an energy selfassessment tool, self-guided product and solution selection tools, an Energy Star rebate finder, and links to online support from dedicated support staff.

Meanwhile, Best Buy continues to convert more flagship big-box locations to its new “connected store” format, which provides hands-on demonstrations of connected devices and technologies.

The latest round of remodels debuted earlier this month in the Dallas market, where the retailer marked the occasion with Dallas Cowboy ticket giveaways, visits from members of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, an ESPN “experience” booth, and free tech workshops.

The stores, located, in Parklane, Hurst, Grapevine, Frisco and Plano, also feature new Pacific Kitchen and Home appliance departments, which are similarly rolling out to select locations across the country. Borrowing from the Magnolia A/V store-within-a-store concept, the majap shops are based on Best Buy’s California-based Pacific Sales home-improvement chain, and feature an expanded assortment of entry-level to luxury products.


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