Apple’s retail stores are iconic. They are clean, easy to maneuver in, and it’s quick to find what you are looking for. Some have tried to copy the experience (Microsoft), and now another major company is being added to that (currently) short list. According to The Wall Street Journal, Best Buy is “prototyping” a retail experience that is much based on the Apple Stores. Moving away from the distracting displays and the long checkout lines, Best Buy is trying a more open, de-cluttered experience, allowing customers to pay many places spread throughout the stores. Not only are they mimicking the layout though, they are also trying to get their employees more involved with the customers. The WSJ had this to say about the “test” store in Richfield, Minnesota:
The heart of a test store near Best Buy’s headquarters here is a Solution Central help desk, rimmed with chairs and manned by the company’s black-tied Geek Squad. It strongly resembles the Genius Bar at Apple’s stores.
So the Genius Bar concept seems to be catching on in other places. Best Buy is also said to be working on a more streamlined checkout experience, but it is unclear if they use mobile devices like Apple Stores do. The process is said to adopt the “futuristic” checkout experience that the Apple Stores have engineered. The WSJ got this from Best Buy:
According to Best Buy, the new format is just a first step in dealing with long-standing problems. “This is catch-up, if you will, but there’s much more to come,” said interim Chief Executive Mike Mikan, referring to the experimental store he described as “Best Buy 2.0’.
Anyone remember when Apple called their revamped retail experience the “Apple Store 2.0″ makeover? Yeah, thought it sounded familiar. Nonetheless, Best Buy copying Apple’s stores isn’t necassarily a bad thing. Apple has a great retail experience, and this would only give Best Buy the opportunity to improve.
What do you think? Do you think it’s wrong of them, or that this is beneficial for the consumer? Do you think Apple will be upset? Let us know in the comments.