updated 02:10 pm EDT, Fri August 3, 2007
Apple products in Best Buy
Apple and Best Buy are planning to bring iPhones to some of Best Buy's nationwide outlets in the next 4-6 weeks, according to sources. Meanwhile, the retail chain plans to expand the number of its stores that sell Macs to 300 by the end of 2007. When the expansion is complete, Best Buy will be selling nearly 80 percent of Apple's entire product offerings in about 40 percent of its own outlets across the U.S. AppleInsider reports that the two companies, which launched a pilot program to test the prospect of selling Apple goods in just seven Best Buy stores last year, will start by expanding Mac distribution to 200 locations by the end of September.
Each Best Buy outlet selling Apple goods will be outfitted with separate Apple display areas that include a miniature theater display with stereo sound. "Apple is a very strong focus for us," said one source close to Best Buy's retail efforts. "The displays are incredible and very popular -- they are very eye-catching to our customers."
Apple's COO Tim Cook confirmed plans to expand the pilot program with the Cupertino-based company during an interview with industry analyst Richard Gardner of Citigroup.
"Tim, could you give us an update on the Best Buy roll out and how that's coming," Gardner asked Apple's second in command. "How many stores you were in at the beginning of the quarter and how many stores exiting the quarter and whether that was a material contributor to the Mac unit shipment number in the quarter?"
Cook replied enthusiastically about Apple's relationship with Best Buy, confirming that the Mac maker does indeed plan to sell its products in 300 Best Buy stores across the U.S. by 2008.
"Richard at the beginning of the quarter we were [in] around 50 [Best Buy stores], by the end of the quarter we were around 75," Cook explained. "By the end of this quarter we will be over 200 and we expect to be almost at 300 by the end of the calendar year. So it's going very well, both parties are very happy about it and that's the reason we are expanding."