US electronics multichannel retailer Best Buy is to sell online in the UK from this autumn. Confirmation that the e-commerce shop will launch in just a few months came from the chain ahead of the opening of Best Buy’s first UK store, whose doors will be thrown open at 7am tomorrow.
Best Buy is widely expected to shake up the UK electronics market with a proposition that emphasizes value for money and knowledgeable staff. Features of the Best Buy model, pioneered in the US, include nine-week training courses for its in-store Blue Shirt assistants, as well as a robust multichannel retail model and the Idea X website where customers can suggest improvements they’d like to see to the retail format.
So far in the UK, five stores have been announced. As well as Thurrock there are also stores to come in Hedge End, near Southampton, Merry Hill in the West Midlands, Aintree, near Liverpool and Bristol’s Cribbs Causeway.
There’s also a Best Buy UK website where customers can get news, find product information, contribute to forums and ask questions. But up to now the e-commerce channel had simply been promised ‘later in 2010’.
Our view: The UK arrival of Best Buy has been closely watched by technology fans who have knowledge of Best Buy from the US. The rest of us will be waiting to see what the chain can deliver that we don't already have. Some will be in line at the Thurrock store tomorrow, but for the majority, what promises to be a new retail experience will have to wait until the launch of online sales.