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Best Buy Announces First Store Opening Dates In UK

Gordon Kelly


Best Buy Announces First Store Opening Dates In UK

If you have a particularly good memory you may remember the £1.1bn Carphone Warehouse deal US retail giant Best Buy struck in May 2008. If not I suggest your social life does you credit, so here's a reminder - and the consequences.

The move gave Best Buy a 50 per cent share of Carphone Warehouse, comprising all the 2,400 stores, the web and direct businesses, the insurance operations and its airtime reselling businesses. CW's broadband business (TalkTalk, AOL Broadband and Opal) was not involved. The key part of the deal is that it was seen as a way for Best Buy to learn the UK market and attain a foothold. On Sunday (yes, we even get press releases on Sunday) it took the step up.

The nationwide roll-out of Best buy stores has begun and Thurrock is the surprisingly non-London location for the first one, opening its doors in May. This will be followed in June by Hedge End in Southampton, Merry Hill in the West Midlands and Aintree in Liverpool. From here further branches will open as part of an ongoing expansion strategy to conquer the world.

Best Buy stores won't replace the Carphone Warehouse name and won't compete directly, instead focusing on home entertainment and stocking brands such as Loewe, Sony, Samsung, Bose, Harman Kardon, Pioneer, Denon, Kef and Panasonic. Pricing will range from budget to £20,000+ premium systems while Blu-ray, DVD, music and gaming (titles and consoles) will also be stocked.

Setup services, one to one in-store tech support (akin to Apple's Genius Bar), trade-ins and 24 hour 'Geek Squad' online consultation will be provided too. Furthermore Best Buy will have a price guarantee which promises an additional 10 per cent discount on any product found cheaper elsewhere within 30 days of a purchase. It is unclear whether this includes deals found online (unlikely).

Yep, the Yanks are here - and they mean business...

Update: As I suspected: "the price match guarantee excludes mail order, telesales and online prices."


Best Buy UK


March 29, 2010, 4:45 am

I confess I'm unaware of Best Buy, so can anyone with more knowledge say whether Best Buy moving in to the UK, is a good thing or not? Are they just another Dixons or PC World, or are they actually competitive on price, and filled with people who know what they're talking about?


March 29, 2010, 4:57 am

so now UK customers can be scammed with:

utterly pointless pc optimizations for both PCs (which are most of the time forced on the customers): http://gizmodo.com/5439590/bes... and macs: http://gizmodo.com/5440510/bes...

along with other such greats such as syncing your 3D glasses with the TV: http://gizmodo.com/5497598/bes... and a free iphone app for free when you spend $10: http://gizmodo.com/5435506/bes...


March 29, 2010, 5:36 am

I wonder how Currys and Dixons feel about this.


March 29, 2010, 5:36 am

Given the market's already overcrowded with 'consumer electronics' shops they're going to have a tough job.


March 29, 2010, 6:16 am

@Pbryanw @Xiphias - Best Buy is a huge chain. According to Wikipedia, in 2008 it had turnover of over $45bn. By comparison Apple had a turnover of $42bn in 2009...

@Jay - I think we have to see how it performs in the UK before jumping to conclusions. Those kinds of issue could be levelled at Dixons, PC World and many others.


March 29, 2010, 8:35 am

I live in the US and am familiar with Best Buy. I was actually just at a store today. The stores really aren't all that bad. In the US though most of the employees have no knowledge of what they're talking about so the stores are really only good if you know what your looking for or just want to see something in person. They sale just about anything electronic.


March 29, 2010, 12:01 pm

They offer some pretty amazing deals in the US on high-end products, so hopefully we will see the same here! If they are just going to charge the full RRP then I hope they crash & burn.


March 29, 2010, 1:39 pm

Dixons, Currys, PC World - they are all the same company.

The main focus on Best Buy in the US is their customer service and product knowledge. Hopefully they can bring this to the UK, not for me but for the hoards of consumers that have to suffer in other stores.

If they get it right then the electronics section of John Lewis has the most to fear.


March 29, 2010, 3:28 pm

How many of these stores are they building? I'm sure I drive past a Best Buy on the East section of the M25 before Christmas.


March 29, 2010, 4:12 pm

I for one welcome our new American overlords...

Heh, seriously though, a bit of competition can't but help us, the consumers. Maybe a touch of BestBuy (if/when it ever comes to Scotland) will make for better choice, better prices and better service all-round. One can only hope.

Chris Beach

March 29, 2010, 4:27 pm

Are they going to stock a range of PC components? PC World usually has lots of accesories but rather limited on the internals side. i.e. a few mid-low end GPU's.

Would be interesting to see if they can compete price wise with the internet (which is what's killing dixons etc)


March 29, 2010, 4:36 pm

I would probably only visit Best Buy in order to check products out before buying them online. This may be despicable behaviour - but Best Buy is no local "ma and pa" operation but an enormous US chain, so I would feel very little guilt indeed. In any case they have seen me coming and skilfully avoided this outcome by locating all their stores at least 50 miles away from me.

OldTimer is right to mention John Lewis - I would actually buy electronics goods from John Lewis, despite their prices not being particularly low, because of their warranties and (in my experience) good customer service. Best Buy will have to offer similar service along with lower prices if they really want to stand out.


March 29, 2010, 4:45 pm

As long as they are cheap and good quality, come on in.

Im doing my shopping mostly online nowadays, especially electronics. If their price can beat Amazon, pricerunner suggestions etc, why not. Dixon/Pc world are big fat rip-offs.


March 29, 2010, 8:14 pm

I have to say I find the comments about retail versus online pricing a little strange. After all a large superstore based on retail park with over 350 staff (2 shifts, 7 days a week) costs much more to run than a web-site. It is all a matter of whether you need it now or can wait for delivery etc. Some people can, some people can't and those that want it immediately should pay the premium for the stock and retail premises.


March 29, 2010, 11:00 pm

I live in the United States and there is a Best Buy in almost every city. The salesmen work on commission and act accordingly. The employees aren't any more knowledgeable than readers here. Prices are low during special events and clearance but are generally more expensive than online shopping. I personally like Best Buy because it's a big place where I can browse through a large selection of movies, video games, computers and stereos.

McEwans Exported

March 30, 2010, 1:04 am

They do not offer good value and their staff are definately not at all well informed about product functionality. Good to see a bit more competition but do not hold your breadth as this being a step forward. If you want bulk standard products at big chain prices vs quality at online value then you will be happy. Frankly, you can do much better.


April 11, 2010, 3:26 pm

Very glad Best Buy are finally here as they will hopefully offer much needed competition to the sector to the likes of DSG (PC World, Curry's etc.) My recent experience of PC World is poor.

I have bought from Best Buy many times when visiting the US and their service and style should be a winner, especially as its a JV with Carphone Warehouse who have an generally average reputation.

We need a Best Buy is North West London or the Watford area where I am sure it will do really well.

Martin Daler

November 4, 2010, 8:11 pm

looking for a bargain on the Nikon D90 18-105VR Kit, out of 25 outlets listed by camerapricebuster.co.uk, fully 20 of them are cheaper (including P&P) than "Best Buy" @ £799.99 (presumably + P&P?).

It looks no better if you are after the Canon 60D 17-85 Kit, even though BB boasts a "web exclusive" price this is more expensive than 10 out of 13 outlets.

Methinks the "Best Buy" trading name itself is a trading standards infringement! "Worst Buy" would be closer to the truth.


November 17, 2010, 1:21 am

Hands up, those who think that competition exists on it own. Of course, competition exists when there are two or more because making money is not only the point, to make the biggest pile of stinky poo is {the point}. Any Yankee do-da which wades onto Ole Blighty&#8217s shores will be swallowed up by Her lethargy - that ever floppy foetus aborted from the Box of Tricks of the Chosen Few. Just look at the fast food joints, they are all bastardised versions of the real McCoys, and &#8220Bestbuy&#8221 will not be an exception - they will be just an addition to the Lazy Bunch - especially lazy on competition. Now, why is that so?

Because when the colonisation of the sojourn faraway lands ended, the colonisation of the locals began. Just imagine, not only are there people who will believe in sump&#8217fink called &#8220Royalty&#8221, they actually are ecstasised into celebrating some &#8220royals&#8221 XYZ Wedding Anniversary - in the streets much like Microsoft managing to duped some into celebrating Windows 7&#8217s release with street parties, ala Karnival. Eets true, blue !! As such, where would one be able to unearth the BestBuy genetics? In the land where they hate the &#8220Redcoats&#8221, where the spiel about being somber on the 11th November will end all wars is treated as a fairy tale born off the loins of &#8220Royalty&#8221 & &#8220The Establishment&#8221, oka The Chosen Few, where people believed that The Federal Reserve is As American as Apple Pie, and the myriad of nonsense that the stupid-cum-dumb accept as real - i.e. not in these here shores, matey.

As the truly intelligent, oka streetwised, may now realised {for mere knowledge is insufficient}, when BestBuy parachuted into Blighty&#8217s hallowed green pastures, they magically turned into sump&#8217fink more than a generous pumpkin, they miraculously protoplasmised into another &#8220Comet&#8221, &#8220Currys&#8221, &#8220PC World&#8221, and more mesmerics than even Hitler could wished for. Hell, you could even hear Goebbel&#8217s ghost rejoicing, &#8220Iff ve haff zist lot, ve von&#8217t haff zu invade Poland !!&#8221 Jawhol, mein herr ghosten, und &#8220BestBuy&#8221, hier ve komer !! Are some of us actually living in the 21st century where they don&#8217t shoot miners for striking, willy-nilly? Not really, matey, you should see &#8217em queueing for hours on end just for a few squids less. And thse are the ones who &#8216fink that they are the privileged ones. Yes, may the saints preserve &#8216em, everyone of &#8216em - in qik-set putty.

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