Retail Briefs

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Microsoft Planning More Stores

WASHINGTON — Microsoft COO Kevin Turner said his company is planning to open “dozens” of new retail stores. Speaking at Microsoft’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference here last month, Turner described the showrooms as “an incredible learning vehicle” that is helping its designers and developers create next-generation products based on end-user feedback. Microsoft opened its first four stores within the last nine months in Arizona, California and Colorado.

Sound Advice Readies Comeback

FT. LAUDERDALE, FLA. — Sound Advice, the premium A/V specialty chain that closed with corporate parent Tweeter, could be back in business by September.

The operation is being resurrected by former chairman/CEO Peter Beshouri and senior executive Michael Blumberg, who reacquired the brand, mailing lists and other intellectual properties in Tweeter’s bankruptcy sale. Tweeter bought the chain in 2002, integrated it into its operations and eventually went bankrupt in 2008 Beshouri plans to have a Web site up by September and the first new showroom opened by year’s end.

Beshouri believes the loss of powerful, independent regional A/V specialists like Tweeter, Sound Advice and Magnolia has created “an extraordinary void in the marketplace, and nature abhors a void.”

Buy.com Acquired

ALISO VIEJO, CALIF. – E-commerce pioneer Buy.com has been bought by Japanese e-tailer Rakuten in an allcash transaction.

Buy.com will continue as a whollyowned subsidiary of Rakuten, and will maintain its current management team, staff and headquarters, here. The price tag for the all-cash deal, which closed on July 1, was not released. CE sales were $300 million last year according to TWICE estimates, landing Buy.com in 39th place on the TWICE Top 100 CE Retailers report.

Its new $3.2 billion corporate parent is a leading Asian Internet company whose online shopping mall, Rakuten Ichiba.

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