Why Is Best Buy Selling Pet Food Bowls?

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Call it diversification, but in a very off way. Consumer electronics giant Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY) sells pet food bowls. Personal computers, smartphones, game systems and appliances are not enough. Best Buy needs to expand its business, but pet food bowls would seem to be a step too far.

The pet food bowl that Best Buy sells is part of an email promotion. The email’s subject line is “The FUTURE has arrived! New and Top-Voted Tech is here.” The promotion adds “NEW TECH BUZZ, Show this month’s new arrivals and top-voted consumer picks.” Next to the “Feed and Go – Smart Pet Feeder – White” is the “be the first to write a review.” Presumably that means the pet feeder is not is not a “top-voted consumer pick” — yet.

Because the pet feeder costs $249.99, it comes with free shipping, and for people who are Best Buy card holders there is six-month financing.

The pet feeder does, without question, come with a number of advantages over normal, traditional bowls:

Keep your pet fed when you’re not at home with this Feed and Go pet feeder. You can schedule one time or unlimited feeds from any computer, tablet or smart device inc iOS, Android or Windows. Feed your pet wet/dry food, treats or even medication. Check on your pet while away by using the built in webcam. You can even control unlimited Feed and Go’s from one profile if you have more than 1 pet.

One of the age-old questions about diversification is when the company doing the diversifying has stepped over an invisible line to the point of absurdity. The Best Buy pet feeder may bring in new customers, as many promotions do. Presumably as people view, or buy, the pet feeder they will look at other Best Buy promotions. This gives Best Buy the chance to sell a second or third product, perhaps a movie DVD or HDMI cable.

The chance to get an HDMI buyer is probably more likely if it is next to a related product. Best Buy doesn’t think so. A pet feeder is better.