The Rodney O. Lain Archive

Maybe Best Buy Can Get It Right This Time...

Rodney O. Lain - 1999.11.16

This article was originally published on MacSimple, a site which no longer exists. It is copyright 1999 by The Linton Media Company, which also seems to no longer exist. It is thus reprinted here without permission (which we would gladly obtain if possible.) Links have been retained when possible, but many go to the Internet Wayback Machine.

(APPLE VALLEY, Minnesota) - On a lark Friday night, I visited a local Best Buy near my home.

I was at Barnes & Noble, hacking out a few pages of a novel I'm working on. On the way home, I remembered that I wanted to buy a DVD movie to watch, along with a couple of new audio CDs, so I stopped by the neighborhood Best Buy.

When you enter Best Buy, you must let them check any bags you bring in. I had my PowerBook with me, so I let the store guy paste a pink sticker on my bag.

"You guys probably don't allow these in here," I said, pointing to the Apple logo on my bag.

"No, I like Macs," the store guy replied.

I didn't think anything about his comment until I'd made it home and read the MacWeek article suggesting that the iMac may be back on Best Buy shelves some time soon.

I didn't get overjoyed, because I thought about the earlier comments the Best Buy employee made. Those comments didn't wet my blanket about the Best Buy announcement; it was, rather, what his comments reminded me of

Best Buys First Attempt

The reason I got involved with the Mac web stems from my having dealt with Best Buy up close and personal. I wanted to support the Mac, so I went to Best Buy and began a part-time job there, since they had just began carrying the iMac. I wanted to support The Cause.

I began working there and then the disillusionment set in

Apple had worked closely with Best Buy by encouraging them to train store employees to sell things Macintosh.

It didn't work at all - at my store, anyway.

Nearly every employee hated Apple and the Mac - and they were not shy about saying it. I attended a sales meeting in which they were to learn about the iMac. It was a joke. It was more like an Apple/Mac hate fest.

I quit working at Best Buy soon after that and went to CompUSA. Not too long after that, the iMac was no longer offered at Best Buy.

Which brings us to today.

What Best Buy Will Have To Do

Best Buy, if the company allows iMacs back into the stores, will have to do much better than last time. First off, the sales people will have to give the Mac a fair shake. It shouldn't be a hard thing to do this time, since a year has passed, and the iMac (and Apple) has a proven record of successful sales and marketing.

I could get into a rant about how MarketSource, the company Apple has hired to tend to their Best Buy and CompUSA accounts, will need to get on the ball - and stay there - until Best Buy proves itself a viable Mac retail outlet. But I wont go there.

I could rant about how Best Buy sales people have this uncanny ability to rub most Mac users the wrong way. But I wont go there (it was so bad that MacAddict magazine used to include on their disk the hilarious PC Dork game, which was based on clueless Best Buy sales people).

I could rant about how Apple needs to get its inventory problems under control before adding another retailer to the sales channel. But I wont.

I wont, since the Best Buy deal isn't a fact just yet. I wont, because we must give them the benefit of the doubt if they do begin to carry iMacs again, right?

But as a Mac user, and an Apple shareholder, I will most definitely be watching.

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