Best Buy Beta went live last Wednesday at dozens of stores across three states, including King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Davenport, Iowa. For $199 a year, Best Buy Beta members get access to Geek Squad services, complementary Best Buy Protection/AppleCare plans, 24/7 access to specialized concierge services, as well as free shipping, and free delivery and installation on products such as TVs and sound systems.
"As we look to evolve our membership programs, the goal of Best Buy Beta is to create a membership experience that customers will love and to leave them feeling confident throughout their relationship with Best Buy" Allison Peterson, Best Buy's Chief Customer Officer, said in the company's press release. "This pilot offers premium service, complete with support aimed at anticipating our customers' needs."
Many experts believe that Best Buy's move is intended to eat into Amazon's considerable market share carved out using Prime. It wouldn't be the first move a firm has made against Amazon either, with Walmart
Jefferies analyst Jonathan Matuszewski commented that the likely "primary" target are members of Best Buy's "Total Tech Support" program, which charges the same yearly fee for far less than Best Buy Beta offers. Matuszewski also noted that Best Buy would likely also "[target] less loyal customers or non-customers, including those shopping consumer electronics at Amazon (via Prime), Walmart (via Walmart+), and Target
If Best Buy's investors were excited by the firm's announcement, their reactions appear to have been somewhat muted. There wasn't much movement in Best Buy's share price on Wednesday, with shares 0.15% down by market close. Regardless, Best Buy still had a pretty decent week, ending Friday at 5.3% up from Monday's opening price.