Are Geeks Out of Place in Target’s CE Departments?
Target’s deal with RadioShack didn’t work out, but early indications are that its test with members of Best Buy’s Geek Squad started last year in Denver is working out well enough for both companies to extend the trial to the Kansas City market.
On Target’s fourth quarter earnings call, company chairman, chief executive and president Gregg Steinhafel said the retailer had received "positive feedback from our guests" in Denver and rolled out the service to 20 stores in Kansas City beginning on Feb.17. If the next phase goes well, it is assumed, Target and Best Buy will further expand the service.
In a RetailWire poll in August of last year, 67 percent of respondents said Geek Squads were more of a benefit to Target than Best Buy. Only 16 percent thought Best Buy was getting the better of the deal and 10 percent thought both parties would benefit equally.
While Best Buy has struggled in recent years, the consumer electronics chain posted better than expected results for the fourth quarter with comp store sales up roughly one percent. Online sales were up 11 percent during the period. Best Buy president and CEO Hubert Joly did not mention the Target test during the company’s earnings call.
- RadioShack, Target End Mobile Partnership – Reuters
- Best Buy Sending ‘Agents’ Into Target Stores – RetailWire
- Target CEO Discusses Q4 2012 Results – Earnings Call Transcript – Seeking Alpha
- Target adds Geek Squad at more stores – Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal
- Best Buy’s CEO Discusses F4Q13 Results – Earnings Call Transcript – Seeking Alpha
How likely is the Geek Squad experiment in Target to go chain-wide? Is this pairing of technological competency and retail selling environment something that could work for other parties?