Best Buy is redesigning the mobile phone departments in its stores and on its website to make them easier for customers to navigate.
The initiative, which has been coined within the Richfield retailer's headquarters internally as "Mobile 2020," is rolling out to several hundred stores over the coming months.
CEO Hubert Joly nodded to the push on Thursday after the company reported higher sales and profit than expected, which pushed its stock up more than 20 percent to an all-time high. Investors were also encouraged by the retailer's raised guidance for sales for the year.
Best Buy's stock came down a bit on Friday, dropping 4 percent, but is still near record highs at just under $60.
"The smartphone industry has significantly changed over the past few years, especially with installment billing plans, unlimited data plans and the proliferation of prepaid and unlocked devices," Joly told analysts on a conference call Thursday. "This can make shopping for a smartphone confusing and complicated."
Joly later told reporters that he expects smartphones could be an area of growth for the company this year, especially as it redesigns the experience in stores and online.
The market, he said, could see an "iconic launch from Cupertino" — a reference to the anticipated new iPhone from Apple in the second half of the year. A new Samsung Galaxy Note is expected, as well.
On Friday, Best Buy provided some more details about the changes. To start, the redesigned mobile departments will be moved to the front and center of stores if they are not already there.
"It's literally one of the first things you'll see in the store," said Carly Charlson, a Best Buy spokeswoman.
The departments will have a new section dedicated just to the growing category of prepaid and unlocked (which are not tied to a carrier) phones.
They will also have additional specially trained employees, as well as an expanded presence from major carriers.
Best Buy already has AT&T and Verizon mini-shops in some of its stores.
Big menu boards above the registers in the newly designed departments will highlight details about various promotions to offer more clarity.
"We were inspired by fast food restaurants," Charlson said. "For a product that is so complicated to buy, this is an effort to integrate things and to make it easier."
Bestbuy.com has also been undergoing changes to streamline the process of buying a phone online by bringing together many of the options on one page and to make it easier to understand the pricing.