Is Best Buy planning to give its entire sales staff iPads?

Mon, Mar 7, 2011

News, Rumors

In an effort to push its vision of a “connected world” to the forefront, Best Buy is reportedly planning to give its sales staff iPads. Forbes writes:

A source with knowledge of corporate mobile device deployments tells Forbesthat one of the country’s top 10 largest retailers expects to distribute iPads to each of its on-floor sales associates. This retailer, the source adds, operates 1,100 stores across the U.S. As the country’s largest electronics retailer — as well as a retailer that currently operates around 1,100 stores in the U.S. — Best Buy is a natural match.

It also helps that Best Buy already has, what we presume is, a healthy working relationship with Apple. Over the past few years the nation’s largest retailer began setting up special “store within a store” sections for Apple products that that not only help differentiate Apple’s offerings from the rest of the pack but also deliver an Apple Store type of feel as well.

Populating every Best Buy store with iPad-toting salespeople would be a boon for Apple, which would not only sell tens of thousands of devices for the purpose, but also have its wares in constant, high profile use across the country.

The benefits are less assured for Best Buy, which has struggled financially in recent quarters. That said, the aim of the Connected Stores is to make Best Buy shops more alluring destinations and to encourage people to purchase devices by offering as interactive and informative a shopping experience as possible. If an army of iPads helps Best Buy achieve this goal, then the gamble will be worthwhile.

If true, don’t expect to see an army of iPad toting folks with blue shirts and yellow name tags anytime soon. Apple typically likes to make new products available to the masses before striking up special deals with Corporate America. Unless, of course, the plan is to give its sales staff original iPads, which, as luck would have it, are now $100 cheaper with the advent of the new iPad 2. Either way, Best Buy jumping on the iPad bandwagon would be an unmitigated boon for Apple and just another example of Apple’s revolutionary tablet making even more headway into the mainstream.


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