In an effort to boost lagging television sales, Best Buy announced that 700 of its U.S. stores will start selling Sony 4K Ultra HDTVs this week. The home theater departments of Best Buy and Magnolia stores will prominently display the 4K sets and offer demonstrations that tout the benefits of the new format over current 1080p offerings. The demos are expected to emphasize up-scaling capabilities to help attract consumers.
“This will mark the first time a big box retailer is aggressively pursuing the new technology, which offers four times the resolution of 1080p,” reports Digital Trends. “Though usually unveiled in larger screen sizes, like the 84-inch Sony 4K TV that debuted in the U.S. last fall for a hefty $25,000 price tag, the sets Best Buy will be pushing are 55-inch and 65-inch models.”
The 55-inch model will be available for $5,000, while the 65-inch model will sell for $7,000. Although pricey by comparison to other TVs on the market today, the drop from $25,000 could lure potential customers. Besides some regional specialty retailers, the 4K sets will only be available on the national level through Best Buy and the Sony Store.
“After peaking in 2011 with 39.9 million units shipped, the TV market has leveled off, with a slight dip to a projected 36 million for 2013, leading retailers to find ways to stir up renewed interest in the category,” notes the article. “After 3D failed to deliver, consumers have been slow to adopt smart TVs and utilize the connected features they offer.”
Best Buy has been facing increased competition from online retailers in addition to the growing trend of showrooming. Price matching policies and the move toward 4K are part of a larger company initiative to turn things around for the struggling retailer.
“The average price of a 40-inch TV now is $756, 15 percent lower than it was in 2010 and falling,” concludes the article. “With already razor-thin margins and tough competition, both Sony and Best Buy are hoping to gain a head start on 4K Ultra HD right out of the gate.”