Bestbuy, US Giant Retailer Promises to Push Google TV in "Connected Christmas"

written by: Richard Kastelein

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The Wall St. Journal is reporting that Bestbuy, the first retailer to carry Google TV, plans to pump out the TVs this Christmas as part of the targetted 'Connected Home' marketing strategy. Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE: BBY) is a specialty retailer of consumer electronics in the United States, accounting for whopping 19% of the market and their revenue for 2010 is expected to reach $50 billion. The company was part of Google's I/O Conference in San Francisco in early 2010 as a partner with Google TV, Sony, Logitech, and Adobe.

Google TV "will be important in foreshadowing" demand for Internet-browser enabled TVs, Chief Executive Brian Dunn told reporters at an event in New York, where the Richfield, Minn.-based company previewed its holiday products and game plan.

E-readers, iPad and other tablet devices also will be key focuses, executives said.

Part of the connected world strategy also involves Best Buy expanding into categories such as fitness and wellness. The company will expand and carry things like pedometers and heart-rate monitors that can be connected to a computer. There are also things such as a Yoga mat with a built-in speaker.

On the service front, the company for the first time this holiday season will feature customer service 24 hours and seven days. It also introduced a six-month free customer service support after the purchase of a computer. The company also plans to add 29,000 seasonal hires this holiday season, in line with prior years.

On the marketing front, while newspaper inserts will stay play a key role, Best Buy said it will also feature more commercials.

"We want to make sure we get our message out loud and clear," Vitelli said.

On the pricing front, executives declined to give more details, except to say promotions will be just as intense as prior years and more marketing and product based.

"We are there on price," Dunn said. Those "differentiated factors are tie breakers for us."

Will it be enough to push connected TVs past the tipping point into the living rooms of Americans? It's going to be an interesting holiday season...


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