Best Buy’s new eCommerce chief to focus on deal streaming

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By Katharine Grayson, Minneapolis-St.Paul Business Journal

BestBuy.com president Scott Durchslag on Tuesday outlined the retailer’s plans to revamp its online strategy, saying it will focus on “streaming” tailored deals to loyalty program members and forging partnerships with innovative technology companies.

Durchslag, senior vice president of digital and marketing and president of Best Buy.com and eCommerce, spoke before a crowd at the Minnesota High Tech Association spring conference.”

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Best Buy exits Europe

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By Dhanya Skariachan and Paul Sandle, Reuters

“(Reuters) – U.S. retailer Best Buy Co Inc (BBY.N) retreated from its ill-fated European expansion on Tuesday by selling its stake in a joint venture to Carphone Warehouse Group (CPW.L) for less than half what it paid five years ago.

The 500 million pounds ($775 million) sale is the latest sign the world’s largest consumer electronics chain is scaling back its overseas ambitions to focus on its mainstay U.S. business, which faces cut-throat competition from the likes of Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O).”

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Best Buy sets new high for recycling electronics

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By Martin Moylan, MPR News

“ST. PAUL, Minn. — Best Buy reached a new high for recycling last year, as the retailer collected 173 million pounds of unwanted appliances and electronics In-store electronics recycling collections have been growing at a 20 percent annual clip for several years, said Leo Raudys, the retailer’s senior director for environmental stability.

“About half of the weight we collect is TVs, and most of that is still the old tube TVs,” Raudys said. “So there’s quite a bit more out there than you would imagine. About 30 percent of the rest of the weight is computer monitors. Again, very heavy. A lot of glass. And the rest is made up of things like desktops and laptops and miscellaneous electronics.”

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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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