8/6/2008 3:18:00 PM
Carphone completes joint venture with Best Buy
Carphone Warehouse has completed its £1.1bn joint venture with Best Buy, paving the way for a new European electronics retail business.
The first of 200 stores are expected to open in Q1 or Q2 of 2009. Sites for the debut stores are understood to have been identified around Greater London, with 20 or more UK locations planned for 2009.
The stores will be in out-of-town locations and take on the Best Buy Big Box format, which are around 30,000 sq ft in size.
The company is understood to be looking for a flagship store in a prominent area in central London.
One analyst calculated that the stores are likely to be staffed with 30 people, with total costs of around £4m per store.
He said: If they’ve got 200 stores, and they want a 25% gross margin, the company will want to pull in £3bn per year in revenue. Either that’s very ambitious or they are going to really hurt people already in that market.’
Detailed plans will be unveiled in October, including store locations, number of stores and the products they will stock.
The two companies are biding their time before signing leases to
ensure that they get the best deals in what is currently a buyers’ property market.
Best Buy Europe CEO Roger Taylor said that the joint venture had not yet signed any store leases and it was too early to talk about it making acquisitions. He said: ‘Our focus is actually getting some stores open ourselves, getting the Best Buy brand famous for what it can do in the UK and then, as always, we’ll keep our minds open.’