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.


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