The technology and entertainment pros at Best Buy and U.K. retailer Carphone Warehouse (CPW) share the belief that American consumers are ready to experience a better way to shop for mobile phones and service. To test their hypothesis, the two leading retailers are piloting a mobile phone-exclusive store concept at nine locations throughout Manhattan.
Branded Best Buy Mobile, the stores improve on a generally inadequate U.S. mobile retail experience by providing a broader selection of products and carrier options, supported by knowledgeable and impartial store associates. New York City was chosen as the pilot market for the test because of its high penetration of cell phone users (one of every 13 U.S. users resides in New York(1)) and its reputation for setting trends that spread nationally.
The two retailers bring complementary strengths to this new approach to mobile retailing. Best Buy is the nation's leading consumer electronics retailer, with a customer-centric approach to its business, extensive vendor relations and high brand awareness. CPW, the largest independent mobile phone retailer in the U.K. with store locations throughout Europe, specializes in small-box store formats and the ability to delight customers with amenities such as product trade-ins and after-sale service.
"Best Buy has been interested in opening mobile-only stores in more convenient locations for years, and we couldn't find a better partner to improve the customer experience than the team at CPW," said David Sprosty, chief executive officer of Best Buy Mobile. "Our goal is to bring real choice to New Yorkers. The Best Buy Mobile experience delivers a wider assortment of handsets and carrier networks, combined with specially trained, impartial mobile phone specialists and convenient locations across Manhattan. It's a whole new level of service that personalizes the shopping experience for people who want control over how mobile technology integrates into their lifestyles."
New Best Buy Mobile stand-alone stores averaging approximately 1,000-square-feet each are now open near Union Square, Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Terminal, and on the Upper East and Upper West sides of Manhattan. Another four stores operate within existing Best Buy stores in fully renovated "stores-within-a-store." Each of the Best Buy Mobile stores improves on the customer's mobile shopping experience by delivering:
* Huge selection of mobile phones. Customers may browse through displays featuring more than 80 popular handsets available from manufacturers such as Motorola, Sony Ericsson, LG and Samsung, along with a wide selection of accessories.
* Freedom of carrier choice. Best Buy Mobile customers may choose from multiple carrier options based on their individual lifestyles. Customers can choose from seven carrier brands, including national leaders Cingular, Verizon, Sprint and Amp'd, as well as pay-as-you-go options from Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile, Verizon InPulse and Cingular GoPhone.
* Sales and service support: Best Buy mobile phone specialists know mobile. These non-commissioned personnel are trained by Best Buy and CPW to match mobile gear like handsets and accessories with carrier plans for an individualized offering. After the purchase, continued support is available to customers through a Best Buy Mobile Call Center at 1-866-371-0561.