Best Buy may rollout new appliances stores

A chain of California kitchen and bath showrooms may lead Best Buy into the home-remodeling business, according to comments made at the Oppenheimer & Co. Consumer Growth Conference on July 9. The Minneapolis-based company, known as one of the leading retailers in consumer electronics, told analysts it plans to double its revenues to $80 billion by 2013.

Those plans may involve a nationwide expansion of Pacific Sales, a California subsidiary that sells high-end appliances, plumbing fixtures and home furnishings in a showroom setting.

Mike Vitelli, executive vp-customer operating teams at Best Buy, gave several examples of new business models that will contribute to the $80 billion goal, because they are “completely different or outside of the Best Buy box.” One of them was Pacific Sales. “We believe [it] has opportunity across the country as well,” said Vitelli, whose division is responsible for merchandising and product assortment.

Best Buy purchased Pacific Sales in January 2006 for $410 million. The 14-unit chain, known for luxury brands like Sub-Zero, Miele, Toto and Viking, has since expanded to 22 units that sell to builders, contractors, designers and consumers.

“We have been taking market share [in appliances], and we stepped back and tried to reinvent the business for us,” said Ryan Robinson, Best Buy’s senior vp, CFO and treasurer, speaking to analysts at the Oppenheimer conference.

“We did it through assortment differentiation. A number of key vendors, including LG, Samsung, Siemens and Electrolux all viewed Best Buy as an ideal North American market entry partner and helped us create market differentiating offers for our partners.”

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