Tom and I decided to check out the Best Buy Connected Home department after Christmas. We were curious to see what it looked like and whether products were selling. The department we saw was in a prominent location near the front of the store, hard to miss, but we missed it on entry to the store, because it didn’t have large aisle markers.
We roamed around for a while and then went over to the Home Theater department. When I asked the sales associate where to find Connected Home, she told me that it used to be in Home Theater but they moved it because the Home Theater people couldn’t answer any questions having to do with networking!
On our way over to the department, lots of sales associates offered to help us with TVs, appliances, and ultrabooks. Over in Connected Home, it was dead. No one ever came over to see if we needed any help and we never saw any other customers in the department.
The department looks nice. It is organized by themes like “networking,” “wemo this and that,” “home automation,” “nest,” “home connections,” “security and monitoring,” “hue,” and a few others. There was plenty of product still on the shelves,suggesting that most items weren’t fast sellers over the holidays (with the exception of routers,which seemed to be popular because there were hardly any left).
To me, the most interesting thing was the price points. Wow – expensive! Most of the price tags had three digits and although the Hue display was quite snazzy, those double-digit prices for light bulbs and the three-digit price for a “starter kit” have got to cause some sticker shock for most folks.
At this rate, it’s going to take some time for the Internet of Things to go mainstream.