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Best Buy amps up Apple volumes

Plants seeds in 200 stores

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Best Buy is to start selling Apple PCs in 200 stores, the electronics retailer said today. This follows successful trials conducted in 50 stores. Best Buy sold Apple computers once before but axed the line in 1998 because of slow sales, the AP reports.

That was at a low ebb for Apple. Soon afterwards the company axed most of its retailer relationships and began setting up its own chain, the Apple Store, in flagship locations in major cities across the world. Hit products such as the iPod and, latterly, notebooks have fueled the company's revival. We are sure that it would prefer to handle sales of all of its own products, if it could.

But Best Buy is too good an opportunity to pass up. According to the investment bank Morgan Stanley, Apple could generate another $400m in annual sales if its computers are rolled out across Best Buy's 800 stores.

Best Buy is America's biggest consumer electronics retailer and, unlike its rivals, CompUSA and Circuit City, it still knows how to turn a reasonable profit. The company today reported revenues up 21 per cent to $12.9bn and net earnings of $763m for the fourth quarter ended March 3. Flat screen TVs, computer notebooks and games consoles were the big sales drivers, more than compensating for falling sales in desktop PCs, printers, CRT TVs and CDs. ®

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