Apple's retail strategy has been enormously successful. Earlier this year, a report from research company RetailSails determined that Apple stores bring in $5,600 per square foot of retail space. That's a lot of dough. No wonder Microsoft decided to take a leaf out of Apple's book and launch its own (and very similar) Microsoft stores. Now it seems another major company is about to follow Apple's lead.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Best Buy is testing out a new retail design that brings the design of Best Buy stores a bit closer to what you see at the Apple Store. According to WSJ, the store features a more stream-lined and less busy layout with a Solution Central desk at the heart of the store. This is manned by Geek Squad workers in white shirts and black ties and is similar to Apple's Genius Bar.
Other elements inspired by Apple's retail efforts include the ability to pay for purchases in multiple locations around the store and Best Buy's desire to connect customers with employees who can answer questions and help program equipment. The TV section is being downsized, since sales have apparently dropped in that department anyway, and tablets, smartphones, and ereaders are getting a bigger section, since those are selling well these days.
Best Buy says the new store design pulls away from the strategy of displaying every conceivable gadget and instead tries to connect customers with helpful staff. The new design is described as just one of the steps Best Buy is taking to turn its retail strategy around. The company plans to convert 60 of its big box stores to this new format, which is 20 percent smaller than the usual 58,000-square-foot store.