Under a Car Toys/Best Buy test trial, employees in some Pennsylvania Best Buy stores are undergoing training by Car Toys–the 50-store Seattle chain– to improve Best Buy sales and installation of mobile electronics products, said industry sources.
The trial, however, does not including shifting the product mix in car electronics at Best Buy, at present.
Best Buy employees in mobile electronics are being schooled to better handle product fulfillment and supply chain management and are receiving training in salesmanship and installation support, sources said.
Best Buy and Car Toys did not wish to comment on the trial.
Two sources called the training successful, although no plans have been revealed to expand the trial as of yet, they said.
“Best Buy realized there’s still money to be made in mobile electronics. It partnered with Car Toys to find out,” he said. Displays at the store have been revamped and “the way we sell and install has changed.”
Another industry member said, “Best Buy felt they had category excellence in areas like cameras and flat panel TVs, but they didn’t feel that way in mobile, and they felt there was an untapped potential…and it was a way to bring the category up.”
The industry members we polled said Best Buy’s success in car electronics will help the entire car electronics aftermarket. Even small specialty retailers expressed this view.
“I absolutely, positively do not want Best Buy to give up on the category. They have too much volume,” said Mark Miller of Westminster Speed & Sound. “It would raise the price of the products for us from our Japanese vendors. It would not allow some of our vendors to come out with key technologies as fast….If a person goes into Best Buy to buy a computer and walks by the mobile audio department, at least they are being exposed to the category.”
He added, “Best Buy doesn’t sell the $1,200 navigation.”
Sound of Tri-State’s Mehdi Narimanian said of the Best Buy alliance with Car Toys, “Hopefully it will get them to do more advertising…we’re all for it. Consumer awareness is the biggest issue that we have right now. The Amazons of the world have not helped us. They haven’t done a good job getting the consumer awareness. I think with Car Toys going in there, hopefully, as long as it increases consumer awareness, it’s a win win for everyone.”
See our original story on Best Buy and Car Toys here.