Windows 8, an overhaul of Microsoft's flagship operating system
released in October to appeal to mobile users, has failed to
reignite the ailing PC market, where shipments plummeted by their
largest margin on record in the latest quarter, according to
research firm IDC. Best Buy, the world's largest
consumer-electronics retailer, posted an $81 million first-quarter
loss amid mounting online competition.
Microsoft follows Samsung Electronics in
striking an agreement with Best Buy. In April, Samsung started
opening mini-stores in Best Buy outlets staffed by its own
employees. That's an advantage for Best Buy compared to Internet
retailers that don't have physical locations for consumers to test
gadgets, according to Hubert Joly, the retailer's CEO.
Samsung is spending a portion of its marketing budget to
generate traffic to Best Buy stores, Mr. Joly recently told
analysts. "We're the only place of scale in the U.S. where they can
showcase the fruit of the billions of dollars of R&D investment
they make every year," he explained.
Best Buy's own marketing team has been undergoing changes as of
late. Earlier this year Drew Panayiotou, senior VP-U.S. marketing
quietly left the retailer and was replaced by Scott Moore. Mr.
Moore reports to Scott Durchslag, president BestBuy.com and global
e-commerce. The retailer has not had a CMO since Barry Judge
departed in May 2012.
--Bloomberg News with contributions from Natalie