Best Buy Stratifies Its Membership Program

(Photo Credit: Mike Mozart/Flickr)
(Photo Credit: Mike Mozart/Flickr)

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Who doesn’t want another subscription? Best Buy is about to find out.

The retail giant has apparently realized consumers don’t have quite as much cash to splash on new electronics, so it’s relaunching its membership program with three tiers.

The Ghost Of BB&B Past

Best Buy’s decision is a tacit admission that in a world of choosier consumers, something’s gotta give. This is in contrast to recently bankrupt homeware retailer Bed Bath & Beyond, which got sucked into the macroeconomic abyss — though we can’t give external factors too much credit.

Best Buy already slashed costs by leading two rounds of job cuts in August and April, and now it’s trying to inveigle customers into stores by stretching out the value of its membership program — now renamed My Best Buy memberships — into three separate tiers:

  • The top paid tier is a version of the retailer’s “TotalTech” program, which it’s renaming “My Best Buy Total” and it’s dropping the price from $199.99 per year to $179.99. This will give operational benefits including 24/7 technical support and 20% off repairs.
  • A rung below that “My Best Buy Plus” costs $44.99 per year and customers will get some members-only prices and free two-day shipping. Finally the free membership “My Best Buy” will yield free shipping and quick checkout in-store. Oh, the luxury.

Meanwhile, In a Faraway Land: Best Buy’s layering out of its subscriptions resembles Netflix’s big launch of its cheaper, ad-supported subscription. Elsewhere in Streamingland however, consolidation is the play. Disney announced on Wednesday it would merge the content on Hulu into Disney+ to create a single product. Financially the two already came bundled, this is more of a branding exercise for Disney — especially after HBO Max and Discovery Plus decided to do pretty much the same thing.