Rumor: All Best Buy Sales Associates Getting Free iPad 2
Although this story came as a surprise to my contacts on the sales floor of a Best Buy retail outlet, a new report from Forbes
claims that all floor sales associates may soon find a sweet present at work with their name on it - a new iPad 2. Why? Although the company didn't do this (nationwide, at least) for the release of the first-generation iPad, it's thought that Best Buy wants its sales team to be well-acquainted with the product and effectively sell units of the refreshed tablet in an expedient fashion.
If Best Buy goes through with the free iPad 2 program, the effort would be part of the company's Connected Store initiative, which effectively aims to achieve the previously stated goal - to make sales associates more familiar or "connected" with hot new products. Best Buy tried this approach in limited fashion last year, giving away a variety of gadgets to sales associates. It isn't yet clear what - if anything - Best Buy learned from the program or if its worth expanding.
Of course, if the sources speaking to Forbes are correct, Best Buy must feel that there's adequate incentive to pushing the iPad 2 to all of its on-floor sales reps. Naturally, however, that reality would represent quite a costly undertaking in and of itself. Best Buy is presently believed to have close to 200,000 employees nationwide, although it isn't clear what portion of that number consists of eligible on-floor sales reps.