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Best Buy Planning More Magnolia Design Centers


Best Buy has expanded the number
of Magnolia Design Centers from two to six 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.

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

Magnolia has identified more than 100 areas
whose demographics could support Design Centers,
Delp said. If Best Buy stores in those markets
lack the space to accommodate a Design Center, 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 last month 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.

Both 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.

Design 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
features a flat-screen HDTV
built inside a mirror and invisible
until the TV is turned on.

Design Centers offer all of
the brands available in Magnolia
Home Theater 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.

Additional 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.