#best buy

Greg Bensinger:

Amazon.com Inc. will begin shipping its long-awaited video-streaming device in early April, through its website as well as retailers including and Staples Inc., said people familiar with the company’s plans.

The weirdest thing about this device is that Amazon is apparently going to sell it through Best Buy and Staples. And that those guys are apparently going to allow them to.

Larry Dignan:

The advantages to the store-as-fulfillment center plan are that Best Buy can deliver products faster and cheaply. The downside to that strategy is that Best Buy’s in-store inventory visibility isn’t good and the staff may not be as efficient as people in a distribution center.

The conventional wisdom would say that Best Buy’s stores are an albatross around their neck — much like they were for Blockbuster. But what if they can shift them into being more along the lines of warehouses — much like the ones Amazon is trying to build as quickly as possible — for fast local delivery? And what if only a small area of those warehouses were actually a storefront to show off their goods?

This would all take a lot of logistics (and possibly some re-zoning?) but it doesn’t sound like the craziest idea in the world. Again, what if your weakness is actually your strength?

Emil Protalinski:

Microsoft today announced a strategic partnership with Best Buy and Future Shop. The company plans to build Windows Stores in 500 Best Buy locations across the US and more than 100 Best Buy and Future Shop locations in Canada, launching from late June through September.

Seriously, what year is this? I don’t think it’s 2006, when Apple kicked off its Best Buy partnership because the retailer was kicking ass. I thought it was 2013 and Best Buy is decaying.

Microsoft probably should have done a deal to get into Apple Stores. That’s where the customers are.

John Paczkowski:

Detwiler Fenton, a Boston-based brokerage firm, said in a research note today that Microsoft is likely to sell just 500,000 to 600,000 Surface RTs in the December quarter, far below its previous expectation of one million to two million. The reason: Microsoft’s tablet strategy is in “disarray.”

“Lack of distribution is killing the product,” Detwiler Fenton explained. “Mixed reviews and a [$499] starting price tag certainly don’t help, but lack of retail exposure at Best Buy and others is severely depressing sales.”

Yes, I’m sure Surface is a failure because it’s not at Best Buy. It can’t just be because it’s a turd.