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Best Buy Adding e-Reader/Gadget Section

Minneapolis – Best Buy is rolling out a dedicated “gadget” and
e-reader gift section to its stores and Web site this Sunday.

The holiday shopping space, first reported here last July, will include
novelty devices by Sharper Image, children’s electronics from Leapfrog, and
e-books by Sony and iRex Technologies. The latter, a joint venture with Barnes
and Noble, Best Buy and Verizon, will ship at month’s end.

The area will be adjacent to, and take floor space from, the
centrally located music and movie department – a fading traffic driver that
Best Buy plans to supplant with demonstrations of connected technologies.

The “Gadgets and eReaders” area will similarly employ interactive
displays and educational signage to help explain the products and encourage
customers to test them. The assortment spans more than 120 different devices
across multiple categories at prices starting at $5, and with about half priced
between $25 and $75.

“We’ve broadened our entertainment offering to address the
reality that today people are looking to technology to help them entertain
their minds in lots of different ways,” said Chris Homeister, the company’s entertainment
senior VP.

Novelty CE will include:

a dozen products from Sharper Image, including a
folding travel iPod dock, portable media/entertainment projector and wireless
shower mirror;

Pulse smartpen, a portable widescreen TV from Axion and miBook’s digital A/V
players; and

brain games such as Rubik’s TouchCube and Mattel’s
Mindflex, which uses mental concentration to manipulate a floating ball.

Children’s learning devices will include:

Leapfrog’s Tag Junior book pal and Leapster 2 preschool
learning game system;

the Did hand-held game; and

virtual entertainment products for children including
Tracksters online racing, Kiz Toys action figures, Mattel Xtractaurs figures and
Warner Freaky Creatures, which all connect to PCs via USB cable.

Best Buy will also offer two e-readers: Sony’s Reader Touch &
Pocket Edition and the wireless iRex DR800SG e-reader.

The assortment will also be available online through a dedicated
micro site at