Best Buy Mobile gearing up for expansion

Best Buy will expand its standalone mobile store presence this year in a push to have up to 1,000 of the outlets across the United States, according to the company's chief executive.

Click here for a tour of a Best Buy Mobile store provided by Best Buy.Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn told the Financial Times that the company will open another 75 to 100 Best Buy Mobile stores this year on top of the 77 outlets it already has, and will eventually have "a number somewhere between here and 1,000."

Dunn said the company, which began experimenting with different store designs last year as it rolled out the first wave of its mobile stores, is attracting a different kind of consumer with the standalone mobile stores. "Typically this consumer is female ... a mom with a couple of kids," he said. "These are incremental connections we are making."

However, Dunn said he is aiming to transform the customer experience. He said eventually the company will be actively sending messages to participating customers' smartphones when they walk into a store, using past purchasing information.

While Best Buy muscles into the mobile retailing market, its competitors have not been standing still. RadioShack has been rebranding itself as "The Shack" and has solidified relationships with wireless carriers such as T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless. RadioShack also has been testing its own mobile-focused stores, called PointMobl, since 2008.

For more:
- see this FT article

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