US retail giant puts e-tail on the back burner for UK launch

Best Buy won’t sell online until autumn

Best Buy may be gearing up for its first UK store opening this weekend, but it won’t be taking orders online until the autumn, the firm has told PCR.

At a sneak preview of the US retail giant’s Thurrock store, head of computing René Wright told us the website would eventually be an e-tail portal, but for now “it’s just inspiration, advice and a place where you can go and ask some questions about technology”.

“The website is going to go transactional in autumn. We’re really keen to make sure we get the stores right first and the brand message and the connected store we want to give those customers – make sure we get that right first and then the online space will become transactional,” she added.

Wright also suggested there were some drawbacks to online shopping.

“You can go online and see the widest ranges of pretty much any product category, but you don’t have the advice to help you work out what’s right for you,” she said.

“You don’t have that reference point and you want to come in and touch and try and play with that product, that’s something that the internet doesn’t have.”

Best Buy’s Thurrock store will open its doors at 7am this Friday, followed by Hedge End near Southampton and Merry Hill in the West Midlands in June. A store in Aintree will start trading slightly after, with Croydon expected in autumn.

Click here to read our Best Buy interview in full.

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