Can Best Buy develop a private brand of electronics like Sears has done with their Kenmore and Craftsman branding? That is exactly the questions that are being asked as Best Buy ventures into the private branding electronics market. Now that Circuit City is defunct, Best Buy is in a great position to start developing their own brands. Brands that if done correctly could give some of other stores like Wal-Mart and Amazon.

According to an article over at the WSJ, Best Buy already has several electronic brands under their bonnet:

Best Buy now sells hundreds of electronic products under an umbrella of five house brands that includes Insignia and Dynex televisions, Rocketfish video cables, Geek Squad flash drives and Init electronics cases and accessories.

But Best Buy’s private-label gambit has its perils. Promotion of its own brands threatens to strain relationships with some product makers, who are now also competing against the retailer. And the reputation of the private brands is a two-edged sword, with potential to lift Best Buy’s appeal to customers, or tarnish its overall reputation for quality.

That risk flared up for the Richfield, Minn.-based retailer April 2, when it recalled 13,000 26-inch Insignia televisions amid reports that two had caught fire in consumers’ homes. The recall also included a $100 portable power device that had spontaneously combusted.

Vizio has some concerns:

The Irvine, Calif., television maker has talked with Best Buy about selling in its stores, but worries that Best Buy would give its products short-shrift. “We couldn’t go in and be constrained by comments like, ‘Don’t hurt my house brand,'” said Vizio co-founder Laynie Newsome.

Best Buy acknowledges that it is choosing not to carry some low-priced electronics brands that would compete with its private-label offerings.

So there you have it. But I have a question for you. If you have bought any of the Best Buy brands, what is your opinion of the products. Share your thoughts with us.

Comments welcome.

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