The largest U.S. electronics retailer said that travelers coming through the airport (MSP), one of the busiest in the U.S. and a crucial hub, will find the Geek Squad pop-up area in Terminal 1. There, people will be able to get tech advice, look at demos of the holiday season gifts expected to be top-sellers, recharge devices, and have access to free airport WiFi. And above all, the pop-up area will let customers shop.
The move comes as electronics have sold moderately well in the first weeks of this holiday season despite downward pressure on prices, caused in part by aggressive discounting by Amazon, Walmart (wmt), and Target (tgt). It is also part of Best Buy’s strategy to better leverage its Geek Squad workers, who offer higher touch service to customers, something Amazon.com (AMZN) has not done.
Earlier this year, Best Buy launched Geek Squad Protect & Support Plus for computers and tablets. Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly last month told Wall Street analysts that “our new Geek Squad services are much more than extended warranties” and therefore a key weapon.
Last month, when Best Buy reported its quarterly results, the retailer said it expected revenue to decline in the current holiday season quarter and for profit to be pressured by investment in the Geek Squad service.
Beyond the Minneapolis airport effort, Best Buy for the first time is letting customers offer the gift of a Geek Squad house call to help people set up complicated products like home theaters and home networking.