Retail giant Best Buy Canada has launched a new monthly subscription service for consumers to purchase electronics.
Mat Povse, SVP Retail & Geek Squad Services, and Best Buy Business at Best Buy Canada, said the Monthly Subscription program is an innovative way for consumers to get, own, and use their technology.
“Today it’s offered only on laptops, and subscribers pay a low monthly payment for a defined period of time. The monthly payment is lower than traditional financing because we agree to take that device back at the end of the period, (for example, a two-year term) where the subscriber gets to choose to refresh to a new device, maybe they want to upgrade, and, for some, they prefer to keep their device and end the subscription. There is no interest, the fee is low or free if you’re already a Best Buy Member,” he said.
According to Povse, here’s how it works:
- Eligible customers choose the laptop they want and the term they wish to subscribe for – and they will have the option to refresh, upgrade, return, or keep the product at the end of their term;
- At the end of the subscription term, if they choose for Best Buy to take that product back, the retailer will find a new home for it or responsibly recycle it.
- Let’s say you choose a Macbook Air for $1299; the monthly fee is as low as $43/month for 24 months. That’s $1032 in total payments – less than the retail price of the laptop;
- At the end of the 24 months the customers can choose the latest version of that Macbook and carry on with payments and Best Buy will find a new home for their old one.
- Or they could choose to buy it out for a one-time final payment and keep it forever.
Povse said the retailer has been evolving to serve consumers in new ways – pushing the boundaries to meet their needs, exceed their expectations and even serve up things they didn’t know were possible.
“We’ve seen great success with our new store formats, growth in our Best Buy Membership, and our enormously successful Best Buy Marketplace has expanded our assortment success and provided even more options for our customers,” he said.
“There’s a lot of great reasons why we think Monthly Subscription makes sense. First, we all love looking forward to our next piece of technology, whether it’s a new phone, or laptop or TV – it’s exciting! – and a Best Buy subscription makes it hassle free. It’s a great way for some customers to afford that “even-better” tech they really wanted and pay for it over the term rather than all upfront. Finally, we’re also really committed to sustainability, so the “bring it back” nature of subscription helps us give old tech a new home.”
Povse said right now the subscription is only made available by talking to an Advisor in stores, nationwide excluding Quebec.
“We’ve never advertised it, however this month, Calgarians will see and hear more about subscription as the first market we’ll actually campaign in,” he said.
“It’s available in stores nationwide excluding Quebec. We’re working hard to expand Monthly Subscription to Quebec, to online, and to offer it for more products.”
Povse said Best Buy customers love technology and want the very latest premium devices. Then there are some customers that don’t need or even want to own their tech – they just want hassle-free use of their devices. Some customers are more focused on affordability and like payments whereas some like the idea of owning used technology. Monthly Subscriptions appeals to all of these customers, he said.
Povse cited different research on consumer trends such as: consumers continue to have an appetite for the latest technology, with overall spending on consumer electronics up 20 per cent since 2020, and it’s expected that consumers buy around two new pieces of consumer electronics this year; Canadian consumers, in particular younger demographics, see the appeal of subscription services; the monthly subscriptions market is projected to increase by 27.5 per cent from 2022-2028; and the model provides options for those consumers with short-term cost pressures (inflation, smaller wallet size).
Best Buy has 127 stores and 33 Mobile Stores coast to coast. Last year it opened two new Small Format Stores – one in Sherwood Park, Alberta and the other in Sydney, Nova Scotia.
“And they are doing amazing,” said Povse, adding that more stores will be opened this year but could not elaborate at this time.
“We’re excited about new concepts and new markets that help us serve even better,” he said.