4/28/2010 11:49:00 AM
Best Buy threatens independents
Small independent mobile retailers will come under threat as Carphone Warehouse continues its expansion with Best Buy, sources said this week.
Big-box retailer Best Buy is planning to open 70 to 80 stores in the UK by 2013. This is in addition to Carphone's 800-strong retail estate.
One operator source said: 'Best Buy will be another retailer selling mobile phones. It means more brands on the high street and it squeezes the less powerful brands out of the mix.'
He added: 'The smaller independents will be squeezed. If you want impartial advice, Best Buy will be where you go - independents will be in a tough situation.'
Meanwhile, industry commentators dismissed the threat from Tesco, which has plans to take on Carphone with the launch of 500 Phone Shops in the next few years.
One source said: 'It takes years to build a reputation and on paper, Tesco seems pretty bullish but the proof wont show itself for two years.'