Ok, so Best Buy didn’t come right out and deny the claim that they were providing sales associates with iPads, but they’re certainly downplaying the report. Instead, Best Buy is claiming that select stores are using a bunch of devices in a new pilot program to connect employees with new technologies in a move to help educate their staff and customers about the devices before they make a purchase.
Best Buy representatives told Forbes,
that the [original] source was likely thinking of its “Connected Store” pilot that kicked off last November in Las Vegas and Pittsburgh. These experimental stores were remodeled around tables where customers could get hands-on time with gadgets, similar to the way Apple organizes its shops. Best Buy sales associates in these stores were given several mobile devices, including iPads, Apple iPod touches and Samsung Galaxy Tabs to educate consumers and process purchases.
I really hope Best Buy is getting these devices into employees’ hands, because frankly, I don’t believe one word out of an employees’ mouth when I walk into Best Buy. Conversations usually go like this: “Sir, this $100.00 cable will give you better video quality” and “Oh, no sir, you can only run super-special Apple-certified applications on that Mac.” Fine, I’m exaggerating about the Apple comments, but I’ve heard the cable argument on at least three different occasions. Sales staff don’t get hands on time with devices very often, and yet millions rely on their opinions before purchasing. That’s a problem, no matter how you slice it.