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Best Buy takes a hit after Amazon reveals its own “Geek Squad’

Shares of Best Buy were down 3.7 percent in pre-market trading on Monday in the wake of a report that Amazon is forming its own “Geek Squad” to support its sales of electronics.

Jeff Bezos’ e-commerce company “has quietly been hiring an army of in-house gadget experts to offer free Alexa consultations as well as product installations,” the report said.

The move by Amazon could blunt what for 15 years has been Best Buy’s biggest advantage over its online rival.

Investors, fearing Best Buy could lose business to Amazon, sold off shares of the Richfield, Minn., chain to as low as $55.75 less than 30 minutes before the open of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Best Buy shares closed Friday at $57.87 and had rallied 36 percent this year.

Amazon’s Geek Squad-type service has already rolled out in seven markets, according to Recode, which first reported on the move.

So far, Amazon’s service is focused on helping customers set up a smart home, the report said. Smart-home gadgets make up one of the fastest-growing segments of the consumer electronics industry, but they can be difficult to set up and integrate with each other, Recode reported.

In one example, Amazon is charging $99 to install an Alexa-enabled smart thermostat, according to the report.

Amazon declined to comment on the report.

Source: http://nypost.com/2017/07/10/best-buy-takes-a-hit-after-amazon-reveals-its-own-geek-squad/

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