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Best Buy Spinning Off eq-life

6/21/2006 02:35:00 PM Eastern

Minneapolis — Best Buy is divesting eq-life, the health-and-wellness concept stores it first opened two years ago.

Mike Marolt, president of eq-life and a 20-year veteran of Best Buy, will assume majority ownership of the two-store operation, while Best Buy will be a backer of the spin-off.

Marolt successfully pitched the idea for a health-and-wellness chain to his employer in 2003, as Best Buy was experimenting with alternative store formats and new ways to reach female consumers. It still operates Studio D, a digital imaging boutique for women, and a concept shop for 20-something early adopters called Escape.

Best Buy closed the original eq-life store, in Richfield, Minn., this past April due to poor performance, leaving two stores in St. Paul and Oak Park Heights, Minn.