Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Best Buy Puts Vending Machines in Airports

According to The Retail Bridge, Best Buy has plans to put 12 vending machine-like kiosks selling travel-related gadgets into U.S. airports. The move is part of a pilot program that will initially involve airports in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

The decision makes sense: after all, Bose has successfully been selling its noise-canceling, travel-friendly headphones through vending machines in airports for a long time now. While the average customer might not be willing to charge $350 on a whim to his credit card to enjoy some peace and quiet, the constant business traveler who's about to embark on a 10-hour flight might welcome the option.

However, these kiosks will reportedly sell much more than just headphones. They'll also spew out products like mobile phones, computer accessories, digital cameras, flash drives, and portable audio players. These sound like much the same things that airport convenience stores sell. Will this take away business from these guys, or just add a wider selection of name-brand products?

Frankly, I don't care where I buy a laptop charger if I've arrived at the airport and realized I've forgotten mine. However, on that same note, it's more likely for a vending machine to be annoyingly "out of order" than it would be for an airport store to be closed. Nevertheless, if this program should extend beyond the 12 pilot locations in the U.S., and perhaps even expand into Canada, we can look forward to yet another means of getting technology on-the-go.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When the machine jams (which we all know they will) and the machine has 350.00 of my money, how do I get it back? What if Im late for a flight? Will they have a number available to ensure that the next guy who comes along and bumps into the machine dowsnt get MY gadget?

Seems like things could get ugly pretty fast.