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Best Buy to test new store format

Best Buy to test new store format

Best Buy Co. (NYSE:BBY) is set to begin a trial of a new store format that replicates Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) store concept.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Best Buy has opened a test store near its headquarters in Minnesota that has features resembling an Apple Store.

The paper reported that a Solution Central help desk was located at the centre of the store surrounded by chairs and manned by Geek Squad employees, resembling the Genius Bar at Apple stores.

The newspaper said the test store also has pay locations spread around the store like an Apple Store and doesn't require shoppers to queue up to pay at a line of registers near the entrance.

Best Buy must battle not only Apple but also online retailers such as (NASDAQ:AMZN) keeps prices low since it doesn't have to pay to maintain a store network.

Amazon's prices are around 3 per cent lower than Best Buy's on some key items, according to industry analysts.

In May, Best Buy posted fiscal first-quarter earnings that beat analyst estimates thanks to high demand for smartphones.

For the period ended May 5, Best Buy said profit fell to $158 million, or 46 cents per share, compared to $212 million, or 53 cents per share a year ago. On an adjusted basis, the company reported earnings per share of 72 cents.

Revenue at the electronics retailer climbed to $11.61 billion, from $11.37 billion a year ago.

Analysts polled by FactSet Research had expected the company to earn 59 cents on an adjusted basis on revenue of $11.50 billion.

Earlier this year, founder and chairman Richard Schulze resigned from the board after an internal probe failed to tell an internal committee about former chief executive Brian Dunn's alleged inappropriate relationship with a female employee.

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