Best Buy to Move Gateway Gear
On June 10, Ritchfield, MN-based Best Buy announced that it had purchased the remaining inventory from Gateway Inc.'s now-closed Gateway Country retail stores. The inventory includes flat-panel televisions and monitors, home-theater systems, and digital music players. The goods will be sold through Best Buy stores until the inventory is depleted, according to the announcement.
Gateway made a splash with the first sub-$3000 42" plasma display in November 2002, and a $349 digital video recorder in November 2003. The popularity of such budget product - rumored to have been sold at vanishingly thin margins - couldn't offset Gateway's plummeting computer business. The company shuttered most of its stores several months ago, hoping to keep the most profitable ones afloat, but two months ago decided to abandon retail altogether.
The post-dot-com push into retail never paid off for Gateway, which at its peak had 384 Gateway Country outlets in the US, Japan, and Europe. By June 20, Gateway plans to close its service and support center in Sioux Falls, SD, by June 30.
Gateway leftovers to be sold by Best Buy are part of an "opportunistic purchase that allows Best Buy to bring value to our customers," according to Ron Boire, Best Buy's executive v.p. of general merchandising. The Gateway inventory will also be available through the Best Buy website. North America's top electronics retailer, Best Buy may expand its relationship with Gateway to include Gateway brand computers. No decision on that has been made yet.