Wednesday, March 12, 2014

SolarCity To Consult, Sell In Best Buy Stores

SolarCity ( SCTY) on Wednesday announced a partnership with Deal News Buy ( BBY) to launch in-store residential solar-panel consulting and sales in more than 50 of the retailer's locations.

"A SolarCity representative at each participating Best Buy location will be able to provide Best Buy customers with a satellite-based assessment of their home's solar power potential in minutes," SolarCity wrote in a Wednesday blog post.

SolarCity stock was up 6.5% in midday trading in the stock market today, while Best Buy stock was down a fraction. SolarCity, which carries a strong IBD Relative Strength Rating of 98, was trading near 78.30 midday Wednesday. It touched its all-time high of 88.35 on Feb. 26.

The companies also launched a website, bestbuysolarcity.com, that as of midday Wednesday listed the program's first 52 stores, most of which are in Arizona and California, with a few in New York and one in Oregon. SolarCity says it plans to launch in 60 stores, including at least one in Hawaii.

Best Buy, which recently said it views itself as an online-first retailer, has had difficulty drawing consumers to its stores. At least some of the foot traffic in Best Buy stores is using the store as a de facto showroom for online retailers such as Amazon.com ( AMZN).

SolarCity says the in-store program is aimed at educating homeowners who may be "interested in solar power" but don't realize "that solar is much more affordable today than it was three years ago."

Best Buy stores have in the past similarly partnered with Google ( GOOG) to showcase the search giant's line of Chromebook computers. Many Best Buy locations also have in-store Apple ( AAPL) showcases and Samsung showcases.

Follow Kevin Shalvey on Twitter at @IBD_KShalvey

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