Over the next year, Best Buy will double the number of outlet stores it has to 32 — starting with new outlets in Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, and Manassas, Virginia — and add an outlet deals section to its website for the first time, the company announced earlier this week. Best Buy has operated outlet stores since 2014, offering discounts on TVs and major appliances that have been returned, repaired, exchanged or manufacturers have discontinued. It also has a similar “open-box” discount section at most of its approximately 1,000 stores. The new outlet stores will feature a larger product assortment, including laptops, tables, gaming consoles and cell phones.
Total Retail’s Take: As inflationary pressures drive up prices, more consumers are going to be in the market for off-price goods. Best Buy is trying to capitalize on this trend by opening up more outlet stores, which will help the consumer electronics chain appeal to a wider, more price-conscious audience. In addition, more outlet stores will provide Best Buy with another channel to sell returned merchandise, freeing up space in its full-price locations to offer new products. Lastly, Best Buy will continue to utilize its physical stores, including new outlet locations, as part of its omnichannel engagement strategy, offering services such as BOPIS and curbside pickup.