Best Buy UK, the 50-50 joint venture between US electricals retailer Best Buy and UK-based Carphone Warehouse (CPW), has today launched a new online digital photo service as part of its growing commitment to developing multichannel services for its customers.
The Photo Service tool will allow consumers to share, store and print their images as well as giving them a further opportunity to engage with the electricals retailer’s brand.
Launched in association with printing specialist Snapfish, the facility will be accessible to Best Buy customers both online and in-store.
Having previously indicated that it would open around 80 stores in the UK by 2013, Best Buy is rumoured to be putting expansion plans on this side of the Atlantic on hold due to weak consumer demand, and is expected to place a greater focus on online and multichannel activity in the months ahead.
So far ten ‘Big Box’ Best Buy UK stores have been opened, and just one more outlet is scheduled to be unveiled in 2011, but today’s announcement suggests that expansion opportunities in Britain may still exist away from bricks and mortar.
Commenting on the launch of Photo Service, Multichannel Director at Best Buy UK Matt Kelleher said: “This partnership with Snapfish offers us a great opportunity to help our customers get the most from the products they purchase from us.
“Whether you are looking to buy a Digital SLR, case and extra lenses, print your photos or share your images online, you can now do this all in one place through the Best Buy website.”
Earlier this month Best Buy UK reported an EBIT loss of £62.2 million for the 12 months to March 2012, up from a £21 million loss the previous year, and the company attributed this decline to the investment made in launching and marketing the brand in a new territory.
CPW and Best Buy also operate concessions in each others’ established domestic stores under the name Best Buy Europe, and these channels fared much better with EBIT growing from £160.8 million to £232.5 million over the course of the last financial year.