The world's largest consumer electronics retailer, Best Buy, has signalled its commitment to the UK by announcing plans to open more large-format stores here next year.
US-based Best Buy currently operates six UK stores through the joint venture it set up with Carphone Warehouse in 2008, in which it owns a 50 per cent stake.
Yesterday the firm announced it is restructuring its international business, closing its Best Buy-branded stores in China and Turkey, but indicated it is still keen to prove its critics wrong by cracking the UK.
According to an SEC filing yesterday, it plans to open about 18 more large-format stores in the UK, Canada and Mexico during its fiscal 2012.
"The company believes these international markets continue to represent significant opportunities to both serve customers and deliver profitable growth for shareholders," it stated.
However, new store openings in its fiscal 2012 will centre on its Best Buy Mobile business in the US (with 150 planned openings) and Five Star business in China (with 40-50 planned openings).
Best Buy's restructuring activities are designed to save it $60m to $70m (£37m to £43m) a year by fiscal 2013 but will lead it to take pre-tax charges of between $225m and $245m.
Brian Dunn, chief executive of Best Buy, said: "The actions we are taking are consistent with our strategy of driving businesses that have earned the right to additional capital while curtailing activities that we believe will not meet our return on investment thresholds."
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