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Target Gets Geek Squad, Best Buy Gets Screwed

08/10/2012

The “Targeeks” are coming!

Target has announced a test program this December where agents of Best Buy’s Geek Squad will be available in 29 stores, mostly in the greater Denver area.

The partnership makes sense for Target, which has made an aggressive play into a broader range of consumer electronics over the past couple of years. Personal experience of a TV Target left me feeling like I was totally on my own in the product selection, as the red-shirted staffer in the department was not much of an electronics expert. The presence of Geek’s at Target could have an immediate, positive impact on the sales of TV’s, printers, audio, etc.

On the other hand the decision to place Geek Squad agents outside of Best Buy stores is boneheaded. The Geek Squad, along with price comparison shopping is one of the last remaining reasons to make a trip to Best Buy. Deploying agents in a competitor’s store is the equivalent of Best Buy throwing it’s hands up and saying, “I give up”.

A similar situation occurred last year when another struggling retailer, Sears, began offering Craftsman tools in Ace Hardware. Also boneheaded.

Best Buy is in serious need of reinvention. Diluting one of its greatest assets, service after the sale, is bad for Best Buy but may be very good for Target.

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