Best Buy in China exit but UK safe

US electricals giant Best Buy yesterday reaffirmed its determination to succeed in the UK market despite pulling out of China and Turkey.

The company has six loss-making mega stores in the UK which it runs under a deal with Carphone Warehouse.

It said it was on target to open another five this year as it goes to battle with UK household names like Dixons.

Critics have suggested the company’s progress has stalled since it opened its first store in Thurrock to a fanfare last May but the company insists that its plans are on track.

Carphone and Best Buy are in the process of merging their marketing and other teams.

In China, the company will focus on developing its stores using the brand Five Star, dropping Best Buy The company emphasised that it saw the UK as a key market that it was intent on cracking.

TIME LINE | HOW BEST BUY’S UK LAUNCH HAS UNFOLDED

May 2008
BestBuy invests £1bn in Charles Dunstone’s Carphone Warehouse to get foothold in UK.

1 May 2010
Best Buy with Carphone Warehouse opens a “Big Box” megastore in Thurrock.

August 2010
Paul Antoniadis, Best Buy’s branded operations chief, quits the business.

April 2010
Launches UK website.

February 2011
Admits it has failed to make the impact it had hoped for in UK. Four more execs go.

22 February 2011
Announces planned closure of stores in China and Turkey. Insists UK growth is is still key. Target remains at 80 stores.