The morning coffee is on, I have the day off work, and last week’s news cycle is still fresh in my mind’s eye. The major tech story last week revolved around Facebook, which recently experienced a surge in share prices due to an invite sent to tech journos asking them to “see what we’re building.” On Tuesday, Facebook Graph Search was introduced as a way to search within Facebook for activities, places and brands that your friends enjoyed. If FB’s search cannot help, you get to use Microsoft’s Bing. For all intents and purposes, this successfully saw FB’s stock drop down to $29.
EBay also announced it’s biggest quarter in company history, lending more nods to the direction of online shopping and what is to come for today’s brick-and-mortar establishments. With both Amazon and EBay seeing record years, it’s hard to see Minnesota’s own Best Buy going through such a slump, closing the week at $14.88.
However, if you look past the dwindling share price, Best Buy has actually made some great moves. It was announced through TechCrunch that Best Buy has teamed up with Leap Motion, makers of a highly accurate 3D motion controller, to be the exclusive retailer of their controller both online and offline. With Leap Motion themselves being the only other seller.
Leap Motion garnered a lot of attention in 2012 for its innovative approach towards motion control, which has been heralded as a dominant Kinect competitor. So far, the company has acquired $44.1 million in funding, just closing its Series B round for $30 million this month.
Not only is this a good move for Leap, which gets displays promoting the Leap Motion throughout Best Buy, but it’s a huge step for Best Buy. One of Best Buy’s problems was in their approach. People would come into the store, check out their devices, and buy them online through Amazon or EBay.
Now Best Buy has attracted an innovative company to give them exclusive rights. Capitalizing on what they were good at in displaying hardware, and pivoting to exclusive online sales. Depending on how this move turns out, we could see a lot more of these deals through Best Buy.
Getting attractive start-ups to exclusively display their products in your stores opens up a new demographic for Best Buy. One which has a cult following, but also has introduced itself in the mainstream. It also gives these companies another outlet for advertising. One in which their products are displayed nationally.
Pre-orders start in early February for the Leap Motion. Once some initial numbers come through it will be determined whether Best Buy made a good move or not, and it will also determine the future of the company.