High End Appliances at Best Buy - what's this all about?

lee676October 28, 2012

So I walk into my local Best Buy yesterday, which is undergoing renovations but still open, to look for phone accessories. Mostly the store didn't look that different than it did before, at least to infrequent shoppers. Then I wandered into the appliance section, now in the back corner of the store.

Wow.

They're now selling Miele, Asko, Thermador, Viking, Electrolux, higher-end Bosch stuff, and lots more. They used to not even bother much with separate cooktops and ovens. Now they have fancy cabinet layouts with pricey undercounter refrigerators and lots of induction cooktops, speed ovens, built-in coffeemakers, steam ovens, everything. Think they may be adding kitchen cabinets and design services as well.

What's going on here? It seems incongruous for a mass-market store like BB to be stocking this stuff - I mean even Expo and The Great Indoors couldn't survive selling high-end products in big-box stores. Perhaps with the failing of the last two, along with several smaller chains and boutique stores, the likes of Miele and Viking have no other place left to sell their wares and are getting desperate?

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deeageaux

Best Buy and high-end appliance dealer Pacific Sales are owned by the same corporate parent.

In some high-end areas they don't want to open a brand new Pacific Sales therefore they are creating a seperate store within a store to sell high-end appliances within Best Buy.

In Costa Mesa CA Best Buy they have been selling Miele, Wolf, Subzero etc for years.

BTW I have seen more than one Wall St analyst say both Best Buy and Sears will be finished within the decade. Internet on the one hand and Costco,Lowes,and Home Depot on the other are killing them. If they go belly up don't blame high end applainces :)

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 2:57PM
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ak0402

Wow, I was just at my local BB, and it was, as always, all GE, Samsung and the various Whirlpool companies. Furthermore, the sales staff was hard-pressed to explain even the differences between the KA FD fridge and the Samsung. They're gonna need a WHOLE lot o' trainin' to handle the Mieles and Thermadors. I am also surprised that Miele would allow distribution to that type of retail store.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 3:41PM
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lee676

It didn't look like a "store within a store" to me (in the style of their Magnolia home theater in its own room), but then again they're not done with the renovations.

Best Buy if they're smart should be able to survive - there are times I don't want to wait two or more days for my stuff to arrive, plus online returns are a hassle. Sears, on the other hand I think is doomed - their stores around here look like ghost towns.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 5:20PM
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breezygirl

My BB store is like Akchicago's. Right before I bought my Sharp MW drawer I was having trouble finding one in my town to look at IRL. When I asked the young guy at BB if they had one on display, he looked at me as if I had sprouted a second head and a set of pink fairy wings. He didn't even know drawers existed. And just the other day they had the same Whirlpool brands, GE, Samsung, etc laid out in the same aisles side by side as usual.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 3:04AM
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deeageaux

My local Home Depot has Sharp MW drawers now.$899

Lowes has had them for a few years now at the same price as local independents. ~$1150.

Have not looked around at local indies but maybe a price drop recently?

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 5:24AM
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attofarad

I don't think the lowest prices, at least online, have dropped -- up maybe $30 from early this year.

My local independent quoted me $699 for the KB6524PS 5 months ago, which was as cheap as anywhere online at the time -- I was surprised that he wasn't $200 higher. I hope the price will still be good when I get to the point or making a purchase.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 2:34PM
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Jumpilotmdm

I'd go with the "gone within ?? years" prediction. Anyone who would by those products in that store............?

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 8:53PM
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