Best Buy to become first major retail chain to sell Apple Watch

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Best Buy Co. will start selling the Apple Watch next month, making it the first national retail chain to offer the device besides Apple itself.
More than 100 Best Buy locations will begin to sell the Apple Watch as of August 7th. An additional 200 stores will have the device by the holiday season, and Best Buy’s e-commerce site will offer it as well.

“The Apple Watch is an important addition to an emerging product category, and we know our customers want it,” says Jason Bonfig, Best Buy’s senior category officer. “We are excited to bring Apple Watch to more consumers, especially with the holidays coming up.”

Best Buy will carry a total of 16 Apple Watch models, including the Sport and Watch versions. It will also stock almost 50 accessories.
This partnership, however, may actually threaten the luxury watch market. With the increased widespread availability of these products and Best Buy’s reduced prices, high-end timepiece brands may take a larger hit than they were previously.

In fact, Fossil Group, which makes watches for Michael Kors, Tory Burch, DKNY and others, reported a seven per cent decline in revenues in the first quarter of 2015. This decrease may actually have been triggered by the popularity of smartwatches; “consumers are [now] thinking about the investment involved in an Apple Watch and may be planning ahead by not buying other watches,” says Simeon Siegel, a Nomura analyst, of the phenomenon. CJ

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