Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) opened a new Windows Store in LA today, and is plying customers with food, promos and entry into a raffle “for a chance to meet soccer stars Clint Mathis and Mauricio Cienfuegos, two tickets to an upcoming LA Galaxy game, and a free signed soccer ball,” CNET reported. This isn’t Best Buys first Windows Store (though there seems to have been some confusion on that point), but it does create an odd alliance of brands trying to gain market share.
Windows 8 not as good as Windows 7
Most people agree that Windows 8 isn’t as good as Windows 7. Even Microsoft admitted that it made quite a few mistakes in designing its new OS and will release Windows Blue sometime this year to fix those mistakes. In many ways, it’s like the rapid release of Windows 7 after Vista bombed. But the larger problem is that Microsoft specializes in desktop software, and there’s just not a lot of growth in that market.
Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) is suffering from a similar change in user habits, this time to buying online instead of from brick and mortar stores. It left Europe entirely a few months ago, and is looking for ways to make itself more relevant, but it will struggle to compete with online retailers on price, and so many customers shop in person and then buy online that the practice has its own name, showrooming. Stores might balk that their employees are effectively subsidizing the competition, but it’s not clear how to halt the trend.
Best Buy and Microsoft work together
So Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), both suffering while their markets transition to a model that mostly excludes them, are working together. And to close the deal they are tempting customers with the chance to meet professional soccer players. It might be true that LA loves their local soccer team, but nationally soccer is less popular than football, baseball, basketball, hockey, and NASCAR. It doesn’t even poll better than volleyball all of the time.
Of course there’s nothing wrong with cross-promotion to get people interested, but it does seem like one of the three draws should have been someone at the top of their market instead of the middle of the pack.