Best Buy To Open Small U.S. Mobile Stores

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

North American consumer electronics retailer Best Buy, is planning to open hundreds more of its new small mobile stores.

The move comes as Best Buy goes after a larger share of the fast-growing demand for smart phones and other handheld devices.

The company already has Best Buy Mobile stores in shopping malls across the U.S.. This year, it plans to add another 75-100 of the 1,500 sq. ft. locations on top of the 77 it has already opened.

The small mall-based stores, typically patronized by women with children, often bring in new customers, despite being located within two miles of larger Best Buy stand-alone stores.

There are also four small mobile stores for Best Buy in Canada, all in the Greater Toronto Area, but Danielle Jang, communications spokesperson for Best Buy in Canada, says that there have as yet been no announcements of a similar expansion in Canada. However, she said that Canadian stores will probably follow the trend of focusing more heavily on smart phones, as the U.S. stores are doing. (Best Buy has 64 major Best Buy stores across Canada.)

Brian Dunn, International CEO, Best Buy, has highlighted the retailer’s plans to adapt store marketing to the increasing presence of smartphones. It also aims to be one of the first U.S retailers to send messages to participating shoppers on their mobile phones as they enter its stores, using previous purchase information.

Dunn announced last year that Best Buy could potentially capture 15% of the total U.S. market for mobile phones, up from from 4% at the time. It has doubled its marketshare from just under 2% since it launched its mobile initiative in 2008, with support from its U.K. ally Carphone Warehouse.

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