So far nine of the twelve kiosks are already in place in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and San Francisco, while the remaining three will be deployed sometime before September 1.
Some of the high-tech items you can expect to see at these vending machines may include PSPs, digital cameras, SD cards, MP3 players, and USB cables all sold at affordable prices, according to a Best Buy spokesman who says customers can expect to pay store prices, and not airport prices, when shopping at these self-service stores.
For this project, Best Buy teamed up with the popular ZoomSystems, who has helped Apple and Sony sell their wares to busy travelers rushing through airports, hotel lobbies, and malls everywhere through the now recognizable ZoomShops kiosks.Our take:
Gadget vending kiosks have been out for a while, and have even been found in airports before. However, this is the first time that we're aware of where a major brick-and-mortar retail player in the consumer electronics space has not only backed the project, but has branded the kiosks so as to improve their visibility and maybe inspire some much-needed trust in consumers (who are being asked to buy multi-hundred-dollar gizmos from a vending machine!!). The kiosks are unlikely to add significantly to Best Buy's bottom line (and in fact with maintenance and insurance costs they might even cost the firm some money), but it's an innovative way to increase Best Buy's footprint and bring their brand into places where it might not be on the top of most peoples' minds.