Best Buy teams up with Amazon to offer new range of Fire TVs

Best Buy will sell items on Amazon.com for the first time.
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So many bricks and mortar retailers have tried – and failed – to battle the juggernaut that is Amazon, but Best Buy is trying a different approach.

The Richfield-based retailer announced on Wednesday a collaboration with the online giant that will see it offer the "next generation" of 4K and HD televisions with built-in Fire TV.

Amazon's streaming media player will be integrated in 10 "Fire TV Edition" models from Toshiba and Insignia launched in Best Buy this summer, though both companies hinted at further collaborations in the future.

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Amazon CEO and world's richest man Jeff Bezos met with Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly recently to seal the deal.

Best Buy will become the exclusive Fire TV retailer, with Amazon keen to get more of its streaming service into American homes in the face of competition from rivals such as Roku, Apple TV and Google Chromecast.

But the partnership is significant for Best Buy too, as for the first time it will become an official Amazon seller, offering the devices for sale through Amazon.com.

Fire TVs will be Alexa-enabled, giving owners the ability to search and change channels using a voice-activated remote, or by speaking to Alexa via an Amazon Echo that has been linked with the TV.

In a statement, Best Buy says the partnership with Amazon is an example of its "unique role in working with the world’s foremost technology companies, helping to commercialize their innovations and bring them to life for the consumer."

Amazon, on the other hand, has been striving for a greater bricks and mortar presence, recognizing that there remains a significant portion of the retail market that prefers making their purchases in person.

This drive has already seen it snap up Whole Foods, through which it has started selling its Echo devices, and now it's venturing onto the shop floors of Best Buy.

Amazon has been arguably the biggest reason why bricks and mortar retailers have struggled in recent years, with the shift to online retail providing a serious challenge to in particular to electronics retailers.

But while companies like Radio Shack have fallen by the wayside, Best Buy is now on an upward trend, something Bezos himself admitted to Variety, saying he's been watching the company's turnaround closely.

The retailer has posted four consecutive years of full-year, comparable sales growth, and its revenue this past financial year grew by more than $2.7 billion over the year before.

"Amazon has always been a big believer in stores," Bezos said. "Physical stores aren’t going anywhere."

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