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When you need a case for your iPhone, a BluRay DVD player, a laptop computer or a gaming system, chances are good you head to Best Buy. The Minneapolis-based retailer has come out on top of the retail electronic wars, outlasting once dominant rivals such as Circuit City and CompUSA. One secret to the success of Best Buy has always been diversification, and the retailer was among the first appointed distributors for Brammo electric motorcycles. They followed up on this success by gaining the distribution and installation of Level 2 chargers for the Ford Focus Electric and the Mitsubishi I EV. Now that they’ve got their foot in the EV door, the retailer thinks it makes sense to expand into EV sales.
Best Buy’s Chad Bell oversees the retailer’s transportation product offerings, and he was quoted by Autoweek as saying, “We are having conversations with some of the (EV) startups. I would say the conversations are going well. We are very excited about several partnerships that we can’t talk about yet.”
Referring to the retailer’s 1,101 stores nationwide, Bell went on to say, “We probably get more traffic in a weekend than some of these dealers do in a month.”
While it’s clear that Best Buy could significantly improve the odds of success for an EV startup company, Bell thinks their distribution model could work with established automakers as well. The retailer already has a relationship with both Ford and Mitsubishi, and they’re beginning dialogue with other traditional automakers as well. Even if Best Buy never gains the distribution rights to the Ford Focus Electric or the Chevy Volt, automakers may well rely on the retailer to train customers in tasks such as smart phone integration or EV charger optimization. In either case, Best Buy has positioned themselves for growth as the EV market expands.
Source: Automotive News
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