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Best Buy Expands Store-Count Outlook

6/27/2007 01:03:00 PM Eastern

Minneapolis — Best Buy said today that its number of stores could eventually approach 1,800 in the United States and Canada, up from its prior plan to grow to 1,400 stores.

The 40 percent increase assumes that the company will eventually have 1,400 Best Buy stores (up from 1,000), along with at least 200 Canadian stores (including both Best Buy and Future Shops), and up to 200 Pacific Sales Stores.

 “We continue to generate strong returns on new store openings, and we’re growing our market share with our customer-focused strategy,” said Brian Dunn, Best Buy’s president/COO. “We intend to press this advantage in the marketplace. We firmly believe we can extend our new store runway, profitably, because we’ll continue to focus on three things: improving how well we serve existing customers, attracting new customers and enhancing our store profit model.”

The company did not specify when they expect all 1,800 stores to be up and running. Right now the company operates 852 Best Buy stores in the United States, 47 Best Buy stores in Canada, 122 Future Shop stores in Canada and 14 Pacific Sales stores in the United States. It said in a release that it has historically increased its North American square footage by approximately 10 percent per year.

In addition the company noted that it remains committed to expansion in China via both the Five Star and Best Buy brands.

Best Buy also announced today that it approved a new $5.5 billion share repurchase program, terminating and replacing the current share repurchase program. According to the company, the move increased its dividend by 30 percent.