Best Buy and Carphone Warehouse plan gigantic European expansion plan

10 Oct 2008

It has emerged that Best Buy, the giant US electronics retail firm that bought 50pc of Carphone Warehouse this year, is planning a major European expansion which will see it open large stores in key markets next year.

Earlier this year Best Buy, which has a 22pc share of the US computing market, paid US$2.5bn for a 50pc stake in Carphone Warehouse.

The company is reported to be planning a rollout of over 200 stores of 4,000sq m in size across the UK, and this may also see the rollout of the first 4,000sq m electronics stores in Ireland.

Carphone Warehouse is understood to be in the process of striking a deal to sell Apple computers in its stores, and in recent weeks struck a deal with Nokia to sell the much anticipated Nokia 5800 XpressMusic phone.

Earlier this year, Carphone Warehouse Ireland chief executive Stephen Mackarel told how plans to bring the Best Buy brand into Ireland were a “work in progress.”

He added that he is keen to see the large electronics stores become a regular fixture on the Irish retail landscape.

The initial plan for the Best Buy stores in Ireland is to start with possibly four stores. “These will be hugely impressive stores that will be 4,000sq m in size and will revolutionise the electronics retail market in Ireland with a non-pressurised selling environment and well-trained sales consultants.”

According to reports today, the first UK Best Buy store will open in the first quarter of 2009.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years