Amazon is extending its partnership with Best Buy, announcing a deal to exclusively sell Fire-branded televisions at the electronics retailer's physical stores. And for the first time, Best Buy will sell on Amazon.com's third-party marketplace.
Amazon’s march into brick-and-mortar retail is bringing an expanded partnership with Best Buy.
The online retail giant and the big-box electronics store on Wednesday announced a deal to exclusively sell Amazon Fire-branded televisions at Best Buy locations, beginning this summer.
The news is the latest effort by Amazon to get its growing line of electronics in front of consumers. The company sells devices like its Echo speakers and Fire TV sticks from its small cluster of bookstores, kiosks at Amazon-owned Whole Foods Market stores, as well as pop-up stores in malls and Kohl’s locations.
Best Buy itself has long sold Amazon-built electronics, including Kindle e-readers and the growing Echo line.
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Both companies will likely benefit from the latest tie, said Charlie O’Shea, who tracks retail for Moody’s. “In this iteration, Best Buy gets new devices that will drive foot traffic into its stores, and Amazon gets a brick-and-mortar showroom for more of its proprietary products,” O’Shea said.
In addition to their appearance at Best Buy stores, the Fire TV models will be sold on BestBuy.com. And, for the first time, Best Buy will sell on Amazon’s third-party marketplace, joining the ranks of the retailers plugging into Amazon’s digital showroom.
The televisions in the partnership, at least 10 new models built by Toshiba and Best Buy’s Insignia brand, come with Amazon’s Fire smart-TV operating system embedded in them. Amazon will continue to sell its Fire TV sticks, which add streaming service options to televisions, through other sales channels as well as Best Buy.
Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos and his Best Buy counterpart, Hubert Joly, showed off the tie-in at a Bellevue Best Buy on Tuesday, according to USA Today.
At the gathering, Bezos acknowledged the benefit of being able to try out new gizmos in person, rather than guess at how that might feel from an Amazon.com page.
“People do want to come in and see the TV, they want to experiment with the TV, try it out,” the Star Tribune quoted Bezos as saying.