Best Buy Becomes a Music Instrument Retailer

Sunday, November 30, 2008| by Will Chen

With the penetration of Guitar Hero into living rooms across the country and First Act appearing on the shelves of Walmart and Target, I guess it was only a matter of time before Best Buy, the nations leading consumer electronics retailer, followed suit. However, rather than expanding their inventory of mostly beginner and entry level equipment, Best Buy has choosen to compete head to head with the big boys and create a "store within a store" and stock professional instruments from such manufacturers as fender, Gibson, and Marshall. Dallas, TX is one of the stores in which this little experiment is taking place, so I decided to drop by and take a peek

Nestled quietly in the back left corner of the store was a red wall signaling the musical instrument section. It was almost surreal passing washing machines and vacuums on my way, but as I approached it became obvious Best Buy is taking this venture very seriously.

Upon entering the sub-store, I immediately felt removed from Best Buy. Classic rock was being played tastefully loud and the lighting was slightly dimmer. On the whole, the store is very reminiscent of 1/4th scale sized Guitar Center complete with isolated acoustic room, drum room, and loud room containing several amplifier stacks. Best Buy was even running a promotion offering free lessons with any purchase. I looked around and sure enough, back in the corner was an isolated lesson room.

Their stock is heavy on the biggest brands with little room for lesser known and more affordable instruments which was quite disappointing. However, if Best Buy does as good a job marketing guitars as they do TV's then they may very well give music retailers a run for the money this holiday season.

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