Best Buy Beta: Electronics giant piloting membership program to take on Amazon

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Best Buy has launched a pilot membership program which could take on rivals such as Amazon Prime and Walmart.

Best Buy Beta is currently available at select stores in Iowa, Oklahoma and eastern Pennsylvania, the electronics giant said in a statement Wednesday.

The service includes exclusive pricing for members, free standard shipping and delivery, free installation on most products and appliances and unlimited tech support from Geek Squad.

The membership also offers access to a concierge service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Best Buy says the membership costs $199.99 a year, or $179.99 if you have a Best Buy credit card account.

"As we look to evolve our membership programs, the goal of Best Buy Beta is to create a membership experience that customers will love and to leave them feeling confident throughout their relationship with Best Buy," Allison Peterson, Best Buy's chief customer officer, said in a statement.

Best Buy says the membership pilot will expand to Minnesota, North Carolina and Tennessee in April. It will be available at about 60 stores in all.

The would potentially take on similar offerings from companies like Amazon and Walmart, as the retailers battle to retain customers.

Walmart offers Walmart+ at $98 a year, or $12.95 a month, providing free shipping with no order minimums, free delivery from your store, and discounts on gas. Meanwhile, Amazon Prime, which costs $119 a year or $12.99 a month, includes free two-day shipping on eligible items and free same-day shipping in some areas, as well as to its video and music streaming services.


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