Did Apple just hand Best Buy the keys to its retailing empire?
Apple announced on Wednesday that nearly 1,000 Best Buy stores are now authorized as repair locations for all its products. While there’s no doubt that Best Buy’s fleet of stores and its in-home Geek Squad technicians will help Apple owners find more places and ways to get help, will it also entice many of these same people to buy their tech products at Best Buy rather than at Apple’s stores?
“This will drive traffic to Best Buy stores,” Michael Pachter, managing director at Wedbush Securities, told CNN. “If the repair is something that will take an hour, the consumer will be captive in the Best Buy store and likely to purchase something.”
With the addition of the Best Buy locations, Apple will now have about 1,800 authorized third-party locations outside its roughly 300 U.S. stores to handle repairs. Apple reports that the addition of Best Buy will now mean that roughly 80 percent of its product users in the U.S. will be within 20 minutes of an authorized service provider.
“If a customer ever needs to repair their products, we want them to feel confident those repairs are done safely and correctly,” said Tara Bunch, Apple’s vice president of AppleCare, in a statement. “We’re always looking at how we can reliably expand our network of trained technicians and we’re excited to partner with every Best Buy store so it’s even easier for our customers to find an authorized repair location near them.”
“We love being there for our customers no matter what their Apple need is, from helping them choose the right device, to offering AppleCare protection and now helping fix their devices,” said Trish Walker, president of services at Best Buy. “We’ve always enjoyed a great partnership with Apple and we’re thrilled that, together, we can better serve our customers.”
- Apple partners with Best Buy for expanded repair service – Apple
- Best Buy will repair Apple iPhones and MacBooks at all of its stores – CNN
- Apple Is Partnering With Best Buy for Repairs. Is That Enough to Fix Consumers’ Complaints? – Fortune
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see more pros or cons to Apple’s decision to name Best Buy as an authorized repair provider? Will some of the people who typically shop for Apple products at the brand’s own stores or website now go to Best Buy?