Amazon will sell the newest generation of Fire TV Edition smart TVs in Best Buy stores in the U.S. and Canada and on bestbuy.com. The deal is another indication that the e-Commerce giant sees a more significant brick-and-mortar future for its products.
Best Buy will launch more than 10 4K and HD Fire TV Edition models from Toshiba and Insignia beginning this summer, and also will sell these TVs on Amazon. This partnership provides Best Buy with access to Amazon’s online customers for the first time, while broadening Amazon’s potential audience for products that feature its Alexa voice assistant.
The TVs will have Amazon Fire TV built in, allowing users to search for and watch broadcast TV or choose from a catalog of streaming TV episodes and movies from Netflix, Prime Video, HBO, PlayStation Vue, Hulu and other streaming sites.
This agreement is the latest example of a major retailer “playing nice” with Amazon: Kohl’s is selling Amazon smart devices in select locations and even offers free returns for Amazon shoppers in 82 stores. Sears started selling Alexa-powered Kenmore home appliances on Amazon last summer, and later brought its DieHard-branded products to the e-Commerce site.
Best Buy isn’t a stranger to partnering with Amazon. The retailer has carried products such as various Echo devices, the Kindle and the Fire Tablet. But this move feels bigger, if only because consumers often go to physical stores to look at a TV before making a purchase. While a shopper can easily buy a tablet or a home automation device online, they get a better visual of a TV’s performance in the store (particularly if it has 4K or HD resolution), and often will make a purchasing decision based on what they see in person.
The big box retailer already sells a host of smart TVs in its stores, but the direct integration of Alexa within the Fire TVs is definitely a major selling point that enables the Amazon products to stand out.
“This new collaboration between Amazon and Best Buy on the Smart TV front is a deepening of what we believe has been a mutually-beneficial relationship for several years, as Best Buy is a leading retailer of Amazon devices,” said Charlie O’Shea, Lead Retail Analyst at Moody’s in commentary provided to Retail TouchPoints. “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. In sum, a win-win.”