The nation’s two largest wireless carriers are building their own dedicated retail shops within Best Buy locations.
Verizon Wireless said Tuesday that it is rolling out Verizon Experience stores — where shoppers can try out the latest smartphones, tablets, wearables, apps and services — at 250 Best Buys around the country.
Rival AT&T, meanwhile, is opening its own dedicated stores at 250 Best Buy locations, many of them the same ones where Verizon is setting up shop, according to technology news website Re/code.
As more customers go online to buy electronics, Richfield-based Best Buy has increasingly turned over a portion of its in-store space to other companies in an effort to remain relevant. Typically the other companies will rent the space from Best Buy and share other costs with the retailer, although none of the parties disclosed financial details.
Verizon has already begun rolling out the Verizon Experience stores at Best Buy and said it plans to have nearly 100 locations by the end of the month. The company expects that number to increase to 250 locations by the end of 2015.
The expanded Verizon Experience space is in addition to the current Verizon presence within Best Buy stores.
“The shops allow us to offer even better service to our customers,” said Josh Will, senior category officer of mobile and connected home at Best Buy. “The mobile device is becoming the remote control to everything else in our lives, but it can be confusing. We can help shoppers make sense of it all.”
LOS ANGELES TIMES