Best Buy Aims at College Students

Zacks

Best Buy Company Inc. (BBY), a multinational specialty retailer of consumer electronics, home office products, entertainment software, appliances and related services recently announced the launch of campus deals for college students.

The program makes available special offers and discounts on technology products, for which they will have to register themselves on the company’s website using their college email address. After the registration, the students will receive discount and offer coupons on select products from Apple Inc (AAPL) and Microsoft Corp (MSFT) among others, which will be redeemable at Best Buy stores.

The timing of the announcement is perfect, since students will soon be making purchases for the school year and will naturally welcome offers on MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac and other Windows-based laptops. It is also a good way of disposing of Windows 7 inventories prior to the launch of Windows 8.

Best Buy also initiated a new advertising campaign that focuses on dorm room technology innovators. The campaign is intended to further portray the company as a one-stop, forward-looking technology purchasing destination for college students.

Best Buy has undertaken strategic initiatives to enhance its long-term profitability. With its multi-channel strategy, the company intends to augment its stores portfolio, which includes closing of some underperforming stores, revamping of stores with a new Connected Store format, and adding Best Buy Mobile stand-alone locations.

The company faces intense competition from a diverse group of competitors, such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), RadioShack Corp. (RSH), other consumer electronics retailers, mass merchants, mobile phone service carriers, specialty home office retailers, and numerous direct-to-consumer websites. This may adversely affect both top and bottom line growth.

The company carries a Zacks #3 Rank, which implies a ‘Hold’ rating for the next 1-3 months and correlates with our long-term ‘Neutral’ recommendation.

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