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Best Buy lost $1 billion in value on the news of Amazon’s Geek Squad competitor

The new service is now live in seven West Coast cities.

Best Buy Expands Geek Squad To Office Depot Tim Boyle / Getty
Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

On Monday morning, Recode reported that Amazon was quietly building out its own competitor to Best Buy’s Geek Squad gadget repair and installation service.

Almost immediately, investors reacted by selling out of Best Buy’s stock in a big way — the stock was down more around 7 percent as of 11:30 am ET on Monday. That drop works out to a loss of more than $1 billion in market cap for the brick-and-mortar electronics retailer.

The new Amazon offerings include free 45-minute in-home consultations focusing on how best to use the Amazon Alexa voice assistant. Amazon is also offering paid installations of “smart home” gadgets like Ecobee thermostats that respond to Alexa voice commands.

Best Buy already offers similar services through Geek Squad, the tech assistance service it acquired 15 years ago. But any time Amazon enters a new market, the stock price of competitors usually suffers — and since Geek Squad has played a critical role in Best Buy’s turnaround story, today’s stock moves are no surprise.

Amazon’s rival services are already live in seven West Coast cities and Amazon job listings are signaling a wider rollout across the country to cities like Las Vegas, Dallas and Miami.

A Best Buy spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Update: Best Buy sent this statement:

Today’s news reflects what we know: Consumers love technology but frequently need help getting the most out of it. This belief is central to our strategy as we work to help customers pursue their passions and enrich their lives through technology. We are excited about the range of initiatives we have previously announced that do just that and feel uniquely positioned to serve consumers by offering products, services and support wherever the customer wants it, including in one of our 1,000 stores, on and in homes millions of times a year. Additionally, our 20,000 Geek Squad agents serve tens of millions of customers annually, taking a brand agnostic approach to virtually any technology need people may have, just as we do online and in our stores.

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