Samsung Plans Mini-Stores in Best Buys

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By Brian Chen,New York Times

“Samsung Electronics is giving Apple some of its own medicine. The company will set up mini-stores this summer inside Best Buys across the United States.

Samsung on Thursday said it would open 1,400 of the stores by the end of June. Called a Samsung Experience Shop, each store will be an entire section at Best Buy devoted to showcasing Samsung smartphones, tablets, cameras, laptops, televisions and accessories. It will also include customer support for Samsung products, similar to the Genius Bar at Apple stores.”

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Best Buy ends Geek Squad experiment with Target

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By Thomas Lee, Star Tribune

Best Buy Co. and Target Corp. have ended their experimental Geek Squad partnership, the Star Tribune has confirmed.

Last October, the two Minnesota-based retail giants launched a six-month pilot program in which Geek Squad agents staffed the electronics departments at 29 Target stores, mostly in the Denver area but also one location in the Twin Cities region.

Target had hoped Geek Squad agents would add value to its efforts to sell more televisions and computers, a category the Minneapolis-based company has struggled with in recent years.”

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Best Buy, RedLaser partner on mobile app strategy

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By Leslie Brooks Suzukamo, St. Paul Pioneer Press

“It’s an app, app, app, app world, and Best Buy is just trying to survive in it. The Richfield-based consumer electronics retailer says it is expanding on its nascent efforts to work with software developers of the mobile apps that allow consumers to comparison-shop on their smartphones.

It sounds almost as though Best Buy is trying to help customers engage in “showrooming” — when a shopper checks out a product in one store but then turns around and buys it for less from another retailer online. But Best Buy doesn’t see it that way.”

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Best Buy founder Richard Schulze returns

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Via News Release

MINNEAPOLIS, March 25, 2013 — Best Buy and its Founder, Richard Schulze, announced today that Mr. Schulze is returning to the company as its Chairman Emeritus. In addition, Mr. Schulze has nominated Brad Anderson and Al Lenzmeier to serve on the Best Buy Board of Directors, pursuant to a previously disclosed agreement between the company and Mr. Schulze.”

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Best Buy poised to ax its venture capital unit

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By Thomas Lee, Star Tribune

Best Buy Co. Inc. is exiting the venture capital business. Over the past five years, the company’s venture capital unit — Best Buy Capital — had invested millions of dollars in eight early-stage start-ups with the hopes of exclusively selling new technology through its retail stores.

But as new CEO Hubert Joly redirects Best Buy’s resources toward core store and online operations, the company is winding down Best Buy Capital, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation. Best Buy officials declined to comment, except to say the unit still exists.”

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Founder Richard Schulze fails in his bid to retake Best Buy

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By Thomas Lee, Star Tribune

“Best Buy founder Richard Schulze failed Thursday to make a bid to acquire the company, and negotiations for Schulze to return to the board of directors also collapsed.

Schulze was facing a deadline Thursday to make a formal offer to buy the company. Instead he spent most of the day trying to negotiate ways to expand his partial control of the board with the help of one his investors, according to sources close to the situation.”

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What Best Buy’s layoffs mean for the company

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By Thomas Lee, Star Tribune

Best Buy Co. said Tuesday that it has laid off 400 employees at its corporate headquarters in Richfield, the first major salvo in CEO Hubert Joly’s campaign to transform the lumbering $50 billion giant into a more nimble retailer equally at home in malls and cyberspace.

Joly’s effort comes amid a crucial turning point in the company’s 47-year history as founder Richard Schulze faces a Thursday deadline to make an offer to buy the company. Schulze’s decision will have profound consequences on the future of Best Buy, which is only starting to revive itself after losing much ground over the past few years to online retailers such as Amazon.”

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Best Buy laying off 400 from Richfield HQ

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Via News Release

“MINNEAPOLIS, February 26, 2013 – Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE: BBY) today confirmed that it has, as part of its Renew Blue transformation efforts, eliminated approximately $150 million in SG&A costs, including an approximate 400 person reduction in employee headcount at its headquarters.

The majority of these savings come from non-salary expenses. This initial reduction has been achieved by enhancing the focus on the company’s core business, removing management layers and eliminating operational inefficiencies.”

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Best Buy founder may scrap buyout bid

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By Dhanya Skariachan and Jessica Toonkel and Olivia Oran

“(Reuters) – Best Buy Co Inc  founder Richard Schulze may scrap a buyout bid and instead line up investors to take a minority position in the electronics retailer, sources familiar with the situation said on Wednesday.

The latest twist in Schulze’s months-long quest came two weeks before the deadline set by Best Buy for him to make a bid for the company he founded in 1966.”

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