Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn today unveiled its holiday 2010 sales strategy, which has one simple goal: "to win during the fast-approaching and critical end-of-year buying period, especially in mobile technology, home theater, selection, services and pricing."
Dunn told analysts (and CNBC, above) today that mobile phones and tablet computers will be among this holiday season's hottest items. The company also plans to hire 30,000 season employees. The world's largest consumer electronics retailer is using a connected world strategy this holiday season, reflecting consumers' influence over technology.
“People are driving technology innovation for the first time in decades,” Dunn commented. “That’s why Best Buy will emphasize our distinctive assets that help make technology more accessible, and deliver the experiences that connect people to the services they need, the information they crave, the entertainment they desire and the people they love.”
“Our mission is to help consumers uncover the magic in their technology, to help them experience the connected world,” observes CTO Robert Stephens (in a video, above). “Consumers are telling us that they want to be connected wherever they are, and only we can fulfill that desire in store, online and in home.”
Best Buy Mobile, the single biggest driver of growth for the company in 2010, is now in all Best Buy big box stores and will be in 150 Best Buy Mobile stand-alone stores in shopping malls throughout the United States by Thanksgiving. This is the first holiday season that smart phones and other mobile devices will be available for purchase and activation at bestbuy.com.
“Best Buy Mobile is a great example of our Connected World strategy in action and customers are really responding to it, both in our big box locations and in the Best Buy Mobile stand-alone stores,” said Mike Vitelli, president of Best Buy, Americas. “We are seeing huge customer demand for mobile technology right now, especially with smart phones and tablets, and we expect that to continue through the holidays and beyond.”
Vitelli and George Sherman, SVP of Services for Best Buy, unveiled additional Best Buy holiday 2010 product and service offers to analysts, including:
• “Free Phone Fridays,” beginning Oct. 1, will offer a different smart phone in-store and online FREE each week with a two-year activation. The promotion, supported by its own marketing campaign, underscores Best Buy’s belief that consumers are eager to buy mobile technology this holiday season as gifts and for themselves.
• Beyond mobile devices, this year’s Best Buy “hot gift” and top seller list will include an array of 3D and internet-connected TVs; iPads and other portable tablets; WiFi and 3G connected e-readers and accessories from every leading manufacturer; computer notebooks, including an exclusive, first-ever kids PC from Toshiba; Xbox Kinect and PlayStation Move gaming products; iPhone 4, Droid and other smart phone models; DSLR digital cameras; and MP3 players.
• Store Pickup Plus, a free site-to-store service, will enable customers to pick up their online purchases conveniently at a Best Buy store and skip the shipping charge.
• Competitive prices and industry leading financing options will be available on all the products that consumers are looking for this holiday season.
• Free Geek Squad tips and tricks through 800-GEEK-SQUAD and geeksquad.com will help consumers shortcut device set-up on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
The strategy was shaped by Best Buy's new "Connected World" research study, which concludes:
• The dynamics of the consumer electronics industry are fundamentally changing as innovation is driven by consumers themselves. 89% of consumers believe consumer electronics companies should use more consumer feedback to influence innovation.
• People, not technology, are re-defining what it means to “connect,” and they see great opportunity in what technology can offer in their lives. More than 85% of consumers say they are optimistic about the experiences that technology products can enable in their lives. Sixty-four percent of consumers agree that technology brings families closer together.
• Despite the promise of the connected world, most people are still frustrated by technology. More than 6 in 10 consumers say they have a hard time keeping up with technology changes. Consumer electronics companies have the responsibility to help people bridge the connection gap.