Flying High With Best Buy

The Best Buy Express kiosks target both business and leisure travelers. Products and accessories include: cell phones; computer accessories; digital cameras; flash drives; portable storage devices; MP3 players; headphones; speakers; unlocked phones; portable gaming devices; gift cards, travel adapters; and chargers.

The Richfield, Minn.-based company plans to roll out kiosks at the following airports: Atlanta; Boston; Dallas; Houston; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; and San Francisco. The launch also covers four additional airports that the company did not name, and will continue through September 1, the company said.

Best Buy has teamed with third party provider, ZoomSystems, a robotic retailing systems company, (a high end vending machine company). The San Francisco-based company also sells Apple iPods in airports and through the retailer Macy's, which sells the iPod Touch, Nano and Shuffle, iPod accessories, speakers, Belkin headphones, as well as digital cameras by Canon and Samsung, according to BusinessWeek

"Consumers don't want to wait in line and don't want to deal with a person that knows less than they do about what they need,'' Smith, chief executive of ZoomSystems, told BusinessWeek. "It creates a very efficient way to get the products from the OEMs and#91;original equipment manufacturersand#93; directly in the hands of consumers."

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In May, Best Buy paid $2.1 billion for a 50 percent stake in London-based Carphone Warehouse. The retailers are creating a new company comprised of The Carphone Warehouse's existing retail and mobile service businesses, and the companies said they expect to open their first store in Europe in 2009.

Carphone Warehouse's businesses consist of more than 2,400 stores in nine European countries under the Carphone Warehouse and Phone House brands.

Carphone is Europe's largest independent retailer of mobile phones and related services. In a statement, the company said it will continue to own 100 percent of its fixed line telecoms business in the U.K. comprising TalkTalk, AOL Broadband, and Opal. The company will also hold onto its share of the Virgin Mobile France joint venture.