Best Buy Co. fell the most in more than a year after Amazon.com Inc. introduced a service that helps customers set up smart home devices, a move that threatens the big-box chain’s Geek Squad business.
The new program, called Amazon Smart Home Services, is designed to let customers install and configure products, such as smart thermostats. Services account for about 5 percent of revenue at Best Buy, which acquired Geek Squad more than a decade ago to help solve customers’ technology problems.
The debut of Amazon’s service, which was reported earlier on Monday by Recode, sent Best Buy shares down as much as 8.2 percent to $53.10. That was the worst intraday decline since May 2016.
The threat to Geek Squad comes after an upbeat earnings report last month. Best Buy posted a surprise gain in same-store sales -- a closely watched measure -- after laptops and Nintendo Co.’s Switch game helped fuel growth. Before Monday’s tumble, Best Buy shares had been up 36 percent this year.
Geek Squad, with its mobile staff of technicians, was seen as an area that would be harder for Amazon to disrupt. But the e-commerce giant has been hiring a staff of in-house gadget experts over the past few months, Recode reported. The program has been quietly introduced in seven markets, the news site said.
Amazon, based in Seattle, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
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