Consumer electronics giant partners with Amazon, Google

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Consumer electronics giant partners with Amazon, Google

By Marianne Wilson - 06/28/2017

Best Buy is looking to grab share in one of the hottest categories of the "smart" home market: voice-activated devices.

The retailer is adding Amazon Alexa and Google Home "experiences" to about 700 Best Buy stores nationwide. The new interactive displays will start arriving in stores in July, with the rollout complete by the end of the year. In addition, there will be an enhanced online presence for the devices on Best Buy's e-commerce site.

Located near the smart home department, the new in-store displays will feature the latest voice assistants, including Amazon Echo Show and Google Home, along with the ever-growing number of products that interact with them, such as Nest thermostats and Philips Hue lighting.

“Smart home, especially voice technology, can meaningfully change and improve the way we live our lives,” said Amy College, senior VP of merchandising at Best Buy. “In collaboration with Amazon and Google, these experiences will help people understand and use this groundbreaking technology to make their lives safer, easier and simply more fun.”

The new areas will be staffed by specially-trained Best Buy employees who will be able to explain the different ways consumers can use voice-activated assistants, from turning on the lights to turning down the thermostat.

"We’re excited to work with Best Buy on this because their stores are one of the best places for customers to see, hear and understand how these delightful Alexa experiences come together,” stated Miriam Daniel, product director of Amazon Echo devices.

Best Buy has been expanding its position in the smart home category since 2014, when it debuted "Connected Home" departments. In May, it announced a partnership with Vivint Smart Home, which makes and installs smart devices.

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