Best Buy, struggling to find new ways to entice shoppers into its stores, is going highbrow, unveiling three exclusive accessory collections.
Working with Nanette Lepore, Anna Sui and Isaac Mizrahi New York, it hopes the chic new patterns and bright colors will inspire women to freshen up their laptops, tablets and smartphones.
The Consumer Electronics Association predicts that Americans will spend $8.5 billion on accessories this year, and while earbuds continue to be the most popular purchase, at 42%, 32% of Americans are also buying new cases for their phones. And 66% of accessory shoppers say they prefer to make these purchases in store. What’s more, style really matters: Some 48% of consumers say they like to personalize their devices, either through color (67%) or design options (62%.)
The Minneapolis-based Best Buy, which introduced a line of Kate Spade exclusives several weeks ago, says it has created the new collections “for women who want their devices to express their very personal fashion sensibilities.”
The Anna Sui and Nanette Lepore collections even add an element of cause marketing to the mix, with both designers giving proceeds to the Council of Fashion Designers of America, which uses funds for scholarships and educational initiatives in the fashion industry. All items, which are scheduled to be making splashy appearances on the retailer’s home page, are priced at less than $50.
In its most recent quarterly results, Best Buy singled softer accessories sales out as just one of its problem areas. In the second quarter, domestic revenues came in at $7.59 billion, a decline of 2.4% from the year-earlier period. And comparable-store sales fell 2%.
“Industry-wide sales are continuing to decline in many of the consumer electronics categories in which we compete,” a company executive said last month, in announcing those results. “We are also seeing ongoing softness in the mobile phone category ahead of highly-anticipated new product launches. Therefore, absent any change in these declining industry trends and with limited visibility to new product launch quantities, we continue to expect comparable sales to decline in the low-single digits in both the third and fourth quarters.”