AfterDawn: Tech news

Best Buy subsidiary branches out to design and installation

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 29 Jul 2007 19:43 User comments (9)

Best Buy subsidiary branches out to design and installation Magnolia Audio Video, a regional electronics retailer owned by Best Buy, has plans to go national and transform itself into the nation's leading provider of AV Design and installation services.
The re-engineered Magnolia would operate out of a smaller footprint — 3,000-square-foot showroom/design centers located next to Best Buy stores with Magnolia Home Theater shops — and would target architects and luxury home developers in addition to consumers.

CEO Jim Tweten said the expansion would fill a need for a national custom installation chain with a recognizable brand and the financial backing of a Fortune 500 company. In the process, it will create an “end-to-end solution” covering all CE bases with Best Buy, Magnolia Home Theater and Magnolia Audio Video representing a good-better-best step-up scenario.

Magnolia will begin its transformation this summer by closing six underperforming stores and remodeling the remaining 13 by early November. The chain will then spend a year tweaking and evaluating the new operation before embarking on its expansion plans.

Source: TWICE

Previous Next  

9 user comments

130.7.2007 5:48

Would a good-better-best setup be in the best interest of the consumer? Do your unique A/V needs fall into one of these three catagories? This could turn out to be a bad thing of each instalation isn't customized to the exact consumers needs / desires.

230.7.2007 8:13

granted, if they just go Model-A, Model-B, Model-C the likelihood of success is small

but I envision them to mean they will work with architects for the custom install needed.... and thus will have access to designers to allow the general public to retro fit systems to their style

the genre has six points that can be of various degrees of expense... there is audio, and visual (sometimes/usually combined but not required) and there is the acquisition, storage, and process/delivery, of the sound (radio/cds) pictures(personal pix, slide shows etc and the combined i.e. movies/TV

broadcast TV has tuners and antennas needed to acquire the signal and screens and speakers and processors to output the show, and storage is optional but a TiVo type device would definitely be a plus

each of these six items can have various degrees of quality and expense creating an opportunity to tweak the install to the customers needs

other items *(movies and music)* expand the acquisition, storage and display needs of an install so there can easily be thousands of practical combinations from less than a hundred items of inventory

and I haven't even mentioned the Security applications when using PIP to add camera input to the movie you are watching on your big screen TV

330.7.2007 8:34

I used to work for Best Buy and Magnolia has technically been in every store for almost 2 years now. It may not be labeled as such in store, but each store has at least one installer and Magnolia is clearly visible on their vans, as well as in the weekly ads. It's not different than Best Buy re-branding their PC services as Geek Squad and will be setup inside or next to their existing stores, at little or no extra cost to Best Buy. They say they are "targeting" architects, meaning, they want to get a piece of the new home business, which is usually contracted out to specialty stores. BTW, Circuit City is doing the same thing with Firedog, though Firedog is supposed to be for both Home Theatre and Computers, whereas Best Buy has separated the two departments.

430.7.2007 8:59

First off Best Buy bought out Geek Squad and has turned it into a Joke Squad just as they have with this custom or not install squad which is really competing with Ultimate Electronics / Audio King and so on. Circuit City is now jumping into the market with FireDog (for PC's) and they have been doing home installs for quite a long time now in the AV arena, well before FireDog came along. Best Buy is very expensive these days for their services and product, even worst they will fill your ear with a lot BS...

530.7.2007 9:13

Originally posted by Mr-Movies:
Best Buy is very expensive these days for their services and product, even worst they will fill your ear with a lot BS...
No kidding! I know most of the people here would not pay $$$ for what Best Buy offers, but the fact is, I saw firsthand that people DO in fact pay for these services and the overpriced TV's. Working for Best Buy these days is like belonging to a cult that is hell bent on pushing every high-end accessory and service that can be attached to a retail item. It's enough to make anyone (employee or customer) sick to their stomach.

630.7.2007 14:13

Wow. I've never had this kind bad experience at Best Buy here in Canada. Granted they are a retail outlet whose main purpose is to sell, but I've been lucky enough to have dealt with knowledgeable reps. I'm also the kind of person that does their research in advance and am in sales as well, so it may be a worse experience for someone that is walking in and going, "I'd like to buy a T.V.!" and then pulls out their wallet.
If Best Buy brings this Magnolia service to Canada, it would create more competition for the already established Ma and Pa shops, as well as compete with London Drugs' own custom install service. This is a big dollar industry that is just going to grow as homes become more wired. Even your standard development-built home is starting to come pre-wired with cat-5 and -6. Soon it'll be full fibre!

730.7.2007 16:51

Just another Company that started off small and has now got a chance to expand and reach out to a bigger market and in this case increase their market share.

89.8.2007 0:07

Originally posted by 905drager:

..... just going to grow as homes become more wired. Even your standard development-built home is starting to come pre-wired with cat-5 and -6. Soon it'll be full fibre!

I'm 50 now and they were saying that back when I was a teenager. (fiber that is, cat-5&6 were still unheard of)

and while there is more use for CAT than there was for fibre back then, the connectors for CAT, the telephone equivalent of which would be the $2 phone jack, a wall connector for CAT-6 costs a minimum of $70 USD each. with a very small discount for multiples. this doesn't include the cabling conduits needed to keep it away from AC and shielded from stray signals.

As such, the cost often cannot be seen as a positive by the average buyer and even the ones who know the benifits are likely to consider just drilling a hole in the wall and stringing an extra long CAT-6 cable between rooms

915.8.2007 20:00


Nothing wrong with the old drill and plug technique. Looks better than running the single long cable out of one room, around the corner, and into the next room.

Comments have been disabled for this article.

Latest user comments

News archive