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The Denver Post reports that 28 Target stores in the Denver market will, in early October, begin offering personnel and tech services from the Geek Squad, described as "a test bed for a partnership" that could roll out nationally if it works.

According to the story, "Each Denver Target store will feature Geek Squad technicians for 80 hours a week during the six-month trial, which will also include one Target store in the Minneapolis area, where the companies are based."

Geek Squad, known for providing in-store tech support as well as home theater installations and repairs, was founded in 1994 but acquired by Best Buy in 2002. best Buy quickly tried to turn the Geek Squad into a differential advantage along the same lines as the Genius Bars in Apple Stores. However, the program had mixed results, and last month the troubled Best Buy chain announced it was laying off three percent of Geek Squad employees as a way of cutting costs.
KC's View:
I think this is smart for both retailers. Target, because it gets a branded and reputable form of consumer tech support in its stores. Best Buy, because it finds a way to generate some cash, bolster its own bottom line, and build brand equity for what should be an enormous differential advantage for the company.

When Best Buy announced it was cutting back on Geek Squad services, I had a few people write in to tell me that the program never really worked as well as it should have, and was no big loss. Maybe that's true, but my response would be that the Geek Squad should have been an big winner for Best Buy. if it didn't work, it seems like a pretty safe bet that it is because Best Buy didn't do it right, not that it was a lousy idea.