Best Buy Co Inc (BBY) Tumbles As Amazon Offers Geek Squad Competitor

Whole Foods Stalls Midwestern 365 Expansion	Amazon ownership could question smaller-format concept's future

Now, Amazon wants to add being on your doorstep and in your home to that long, and growing list.

That barrier appears ready to be broken down.

[O] ver the last few months, Amazon has quietly been hiring an army of in-house gadget experts to offer free Alexa consultations as well as product installations for a fee inside customer homes, multiple sources told Recode, and job postings confirm. Apparently the company thinks smart home assistance is a big enough market to break into its own service.

Shares of retailers were hammered Monday, as a wave of fears about the impact of juggernaut Amazon.com Inc. on the sector were highlighted in stories and commentary from analysts.

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. The new offers began after the company saw a higher than average return rate for smart-home electronics and started the service in an attempt to lower those rates, according to Recode's Jason Del Ray.

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Wonder who Amazon is going after...? Amazon won't set up just any device, but it handles some of the common brands: Philips Hue lights, Ecobee thermostats, Eero WiFi routers and Ring doorbells are some of the eligible gadgets. "They have been handpicked for their technology experience, passion for customer service, and strong track record", Amazon boasts.

Amazon's new push into smart home consulting is something Apple should be watching closely because advocating for HomeKit needs to go beyond device makers promoting compatibility.

Being able to control your smart home with Alexa is one of the device's key use cases, but one that can be confusing for less tech-savvy users due to the setup and configuration still required.

Amazon wants to literally set up your smart home.

Amazon is definitely playing catch-up in the in-home support game-especially as Best Buy's Geek Squad begins offering Alexa and Google Home tutorials-but, as with all things Amazon these days, we can only imagine where this new service will lead next.

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