Dr. Dre To Anchor Best Buy 'Club Beats' Sections
Dr. Dre UMG

Best Buy is aiming to become a destination for DJs. The retailer has partnered with Monster Cable and Beats by Dr. Dre headphones to launch its new in-store "Club Beats" area.

The big box retailer is creating a new section in all its stores where consumers can sample the latest audio, music, entertainment and technology products including DJ equipment, mixing software, turntables, headphones and laptops.

To help promote the new Club Beats, Best Buy will host a series of events featuring appearances from top music artists including Lady Gaga, Will.i.am and Dr. Dre. It will promote the events through local radio and newspaper advertisements. The retailer spent $213 million on advertising in 2008 and $142 million in the first eight months of 2009, per the Nielsen Company.

Best Buy sees a growing interest not only in DJing, particularly with the recent release of DJ Hero, but also in the concern for the sound quality of music. Beats by Dr. Dre, which was co-founded by Dre and Interscope Geffen A&M Records chairman Jimmy Iovine, was selected because of its commitment to giving the average listener a professional-quality listening experience through their headphones. Monster Cable, meanwhile, promises "make music sound better" in its ads.

Best Buy sees this DJ-focused offering as something brand new for mainstream retail. "It may not be simple to find these products in a mainstream environment-either you have to know what you need, or you have to talk to someone who is in the industry," said Wendy Fritz, svp of merchandising for mobility for Best Buy. "What we're trying to say is 'hey you can do this,' and when they come into the store our Blue Shirts can say 'these are the three or four products you need to get started.'"

Seven stores will feature a full "experiential" Club Beats area, with a spectrum of products while 300 stores will features an "interactive" area, with similar options but slightly fewer products to try out. All remaining stores will include a "core" Club Beats area, with a product selection, merchandising signage and customer service assistance but less of a focus on interactivity.

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