At the beginning of this month, the Apple Watch was made available at select Best Buy brick and mortar stores as a part of its first real foray into cultivating a traditional retail presence. As first reported by Fortune, Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly says that due to the Apple Watch’s strong demand, not only is it increasing the Apple Watch’s availability in its retail stores, but it’s also looking to deepen its ties with Apple in general.
During a conference call with Wall Street analysts, Joly stated that “Demand for Apple Watch has been so strong in the stores and online.” As a result, Best Buy plans on accelerating its rollout plan, and instead of having the Apple Watch in just 300 of its stores by the holiday season, it now expects to have Apple’s wearable in all 1050 of its stores by the end of next month. That’s a significant ramp up in rollout.
Best Buy, which is the largest U.S. retailer of electronics, has been in the midst of a notable struggle over the last few years, but as of late, has begun to turn it around. It posted a rise in sales in Q2 2015, and looks to continue trending upward. The boost that it’s received from the Apple Watch has led Best Buy to realize that more Apple products = win.
Joly states that, along with the increased presence of the Apple Watch, Apple will receive more retail floor space in general at Best Buy brick and mortar stores. The small footprint of its built-in Apple Stores will be increasing via an updated look, which has already rolled out to over 100 of its stores, and will continue rolling out as the holiday season approaches. This includes updated fixtures and more general real estate for all of the Apple Products that Best Buy sells.
Along with those moves, Best Buy is also planning to sell Apple Care, and is planning on making up to 50 of its stores authorized service providers for Apple product repair.
This seems to be a win/win for Apple and Best Buy. Apple gets more eyes on its merch, and Best Buy garners more foot traffic in store due to the demand for Apple products.
But the big takeaway from this is that Apple Watch sales seem to be strong, despite analyst disillusion and overall negativity. If Best Buy can note such strong sales in less than a month that it’s willing to bet the house on the Apple Watch, then what does that say about Apple Watch sales? It speaks volumes if you ask me.