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Best Buy Plans More Magnolia Design Centers

Minneapolis – Best Buy expanded the
number of Magnolia Design Centers to six from two with the opening of four new
outlets in California, but the electronics chain won’t stop there.

In its next fiscal year beginning March,
Best Buy could open as many as 15 more Design Centers, which operate inside
full-line Best Buy stores, Steve Delp, Magnolia COO/senior VP told TWICE.

Magnolia has identified more than 100 areas
whose demographics could support Design Centers, he said. If Best Buy stores in
those markets lack the space to accommodate a Design Center, Delp said he
wouldn’t rule out building a standalone store. Nonetheless, building within a
Best Buy store is advantageous, he said.

Two new Design Centers opened this week inside the San
Francisco Best Buy store on Harrison Street and inside a Best Buy store in San Diego’s Mission Valley.
In recent weeks, the electronics
chain also opened
new Magnolia Design Centers inside two other stores, one each in Roseville and
San Carlos, Calif.

The company’s first two Design Centers
are in Chicago and California.

Centers are separate
from Magnolia Home Theater branded home-A/V boutiques, which operate inside 383
Best Buy stores nationwide.

Magnolia-branded venues offer home automation, distributed-audio, and step-up
audio and video brands as well as installation, but the Design Centers step up
the selection and in-store displays a few notches.

Centers, for example, feature home vignettes that include a home theater room, great room, patio, bathroom and bedroom. The bedroom vignette features a
dresser with flat-screen TV that rises up from inside with the push of a button.
The bathroom vignette
a flat-screen HDTV
built inside a mirror and
until the TV is turned on.

Centers offer all of the brands available in MHT outlets but add some of those
brands’ step-up lines and additional brands as well. MHT brands include Bowers
& Wilkins, Denon, Marantz, Yamaha, Pioneer Elite, Sony ES, Martin Logan,
Niles, SpeakerCraft, Sonos, and URC. Control 4 home-automation systems were
added last month to 305 MHT stores.

brands in Design Centers include AMX, Arcam, Sonus Faber, Digital Projection,
Nuvision, and Monitor Audio. Design Centers also add the Kaleidescape multi-room
video server system. Other brands can be special-ordered for consumers.