October 10, 2011 AT 6:26 pm

Best Buy CTO Envisions Arduino Section …”each store has an Arduino section instead of DVDs”

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Best Buy CTO Envisions Arduino Section

Arduino — open-source electronics prototyping hardware that you can only buy at speciality electronic shops — might be coming to a Best Buy near you. Robert Stephens, Best Buy CTO and founder of Geek Squad, told the audience at the Android Open conference in San Francisco today that he can foresee a future where each store has an Arduino section instead of DVDs and everything Best Buy sells is an accessory for your mobile device.

Thank Louis!

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8 Comments

  1. I suggested this to them on their IdeaX site early this year – but I’m guessing Radio Shack carrying Arduino was their wake-up call…

    My IdeaX submission: http://bestbuyideax.com/ideas?search_text=arduino

  2. Ya, Believe it when I see it in the store… My Rat Shack is trying to phase out all electronics in favor of cell phones. Best Buy is canning DVD’s? Its not the product that everyone wants. I’d love to see it, but c’mon.

  3. @roobly – didn’t you see the news? radioshack is stocking arduinos shortly.

  4. On one hand, I like to see the maker movement promoted, and the convenience of a big-box store is attractive, but we’re also talking about a business model that thinks it’s OK to hook you with a cheap camcorder and then turn around and rip you off with a $40.00 firewire cable, knowing full well that in your excitement to use your new toy, you’ll fall for the trick. Considering you can buy the same cable on-line for $1.25, that’s pretty sleazy.

    Do you really want to support a business like that?
    Think of all the great, scrappy little hobby-friendly suppliers we already have. They deserve our support more than some gigantic, faceless big-box store.

  5. @daniel – how do you know how best buy will (or if) will be selling these? why punish them without giving them a chance?

    radioshack worked directly with arduino and MAKE – collectively we can make the big-box stores embrace open source & open source hardware as well as supporting stores like adafruit.

    let’s be inclusive and supportive, and give people/companies a chance before we pass judgement :)

  6. I agree completely. A big part of giving them a chance is to voice our objections to what they do now. I hope that they are paying attention. I was reporting on what I saw and experienced first-hand, and it really turned me off to the store. Maybe others feel differently.
    In any case, thanks for listening.

  7. This would be too cool. I can see this scenario at Best Buy: Hey, when your done with that Wii game meet me over there by the Minty Boosts!

    Look at how they integrated the Flip and GoPro HD cams into the photo section previously also look at the entire music store section that appeared in the last year… Best Buy seems to have new vision. They placed the GoPros on shelves and in the isles in dedicated custom cardboard displays.

    I could see them putting Arduino and related components in the electronics / computing section up on a pegboard on the wall near the graphics cards. It would be better to make an entire makers section.

    The Aisles for DVDs are a lot of prime real estate. No telling how that will evolve. I say they take some of their space and turn it into workshop/room like music stores have for teaching instruments. Then maker communities could put on workshops at the big box stores…

    Also in considering the big box store scenario vs. the little guys, just think of the big store as an entry level portal for the masses. The ma and pa stores must rely on better personalized service and perhaps deeper selection and support to gain/keep their clientele. Online commerce is a whole other topic…

  8. I’m not so sure about the big box stores carrying the supplies we all know and love, but I could really imagine craft stores such as Michael’s or Hobby Lobby taking the plunge. It would be a big revenue boost for them. Now instead of catering to mostly women shoppers, these chains would be opened up to men and couples, potentially doubling store sales.

    Craft store shelves are already designed to hold blister-packed or boxed merchandise, and a big plus: they have ready-to-go craft rooms for demos or solder-a-longs (singing optional).

    Perhaps I’m looking at this backward. If Adafruit would only start _carrying_ crafting supplies and open a zillion stores in states coast-to-coast…
    From an organizational standpoint, these chains already do a lot of product sourcing in China so it wouldn’t be hard for them to source much of their added merchandise from Chinese suppliers. It wouldn’t be hard for them to arrange to produce a "house brand" line of LEDs, Xtals, Resistors, Capacitors, and assorted components, much the same way Radio Shack has done with their resistors, caps and transistors.

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