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Best Buy Expansion Crosses Canadian Borders

31 Jan, 2005 By: Holly J. Wagner

Best Buy plans to open 73 new stores in the United States and Canada during its 2006 fiscal year starting Feb. 27, adding an expected 8,700 jobs to surrounding communities.

The company expects to open about 60 domestic Best Buy stores, half in the 30,000-square-foot format and the rest split between a 20,000-square-foot format and a 45,000-square-foot format. Most of the new stores are to be opened in markets where Best Buy already has a presence.

The company also expects to relocate about nine domestic stores during the coming fiscal year.

"We remain committed to growing to 1,000 superstores in North America while transforming the chain to a customer-centric business model," said Brian Dunn, Best Buy's president of retail — North America. "Our new domestic stores will reflect lessons from this past year's store openings, including an enhanced shopping experience for customers and efficiencies that decreased the construction and fixturing costs of new stores by about 10 percent. All new stores will be built to accommodate our move to a segmented, customer-centric business model."

Best Buy's growth plans extend to its other store brands as well. It anticipates opening 13 Best Buy stores in Canada, including seven new stores in the greater Montreal market. These new stores are expected to be predominantly in the 30,000-square-foot format. Future Shop anticipates opening two new Canadian stores, each approximately 25,000 square feet, and relocating five existing stores.

By the end of its 2005 fiscal year, the company expects to operate 688 Best Buy and Magnolia Audio Video stores in the United States and 144 Future Shop and Best Buy stores in Canada.

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