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Best Buy Continues New Store Opening Momentum in North America; Retailer Plans to Open 73 Stores, Adding 8,700 New Jobs in the United States and Canada


WEBWIRE

MINNEAPOLIS -- January 31, 2005 -- Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) intends to open 73 new stores in the United States and Canada during its 2006 fiscal year, which begins on Feb. 27, 2005. The new stores are expected to bring more than 8,700 new retail management, sales and services jobs to communities in the United States and Canada.

The company expects to open approximately 60 domestic Best Buy stores. About half of the stores are expected to be in the 30,000-square-foot format. The remainder is expected to be split between the 20,000-square-foot format and the 45,000-square-foot format. Most of the new stores are to be opened in markets where Best Buy already has a presence, making shopping more convenient for customers and leveraging the company’s existing marketing and distribution centers. The company also expects to relocate approximately nine domestic stores during the coming fiscal year.

“We remain committed to growing to 1,000 superstores in North America while transforming the chain to a customer-centric business model,” said Brian Dunn, Best Buy’s president of retail -- North America. “Our new domestic stores will reflect lessons from this past year’s store openings, including an enhanced shopping experience for customers and efficiencies that decreased the construction and fixturing costs of new stores by approximately 10 percent. All new stores will be built to accommodate our move to a segmented, customer-centric business model.”

Best Buy’s customer centricity initiative empowers employees to recognize unique sets of customers and to build offerings and experiences that meet their specific needs.

Best Buy’s growth plans extend to its other store brands as well. It anticipates opening approximately 13 Best Buy stores in Canada, including seven new stores in the greater Montreal market. These new stores are expected to be predominantly in the 30,000-square-foot format. Future Shop anticipates opening two new Canadian stores, each approximately 25,000 square feet, as well as relocating five existing stores.

“Just three years ago, there were no Best Buy stores in Canada and only 95 Future Shop stores. At the end of the next fiscal year, we expect to operate 43 Best Buy stores and 116 Future Shop stores in Canada -- that’s a great success story. The expansion of our dual-brand strategy means even more Canadians will have a broader spectrum of shopping choices for the latest technology and entertainment products,” said Dunn, who assumed management responsibility for all of Best Buy’s North American retail and online channels last month.

During its 2006 fiscal year, the company expects to continue to place Magnolia Audio Video stores within Best Buy stores. The company intends to share additional information about its customer centricity expansion plans when it announces its fiscal 2005 financial results on Mar. 30, 2005.

New Stores to Result in nearly 9,000 Additional Jobs

“Another important benefit to our expansion plans is the creation of new jobs in the United States and in Canada,” added Dunn. “Best Buy offers a dynamic and fun environment for employees. We are fueled by the strengths and talents of our people, and I am excited about the energy and creativity that will come to Best Buy with the addition of these new team members.”

By the end of its 2005 fiscal year, the company expects to operate a total of 688 Best Buy and Magnolia stores in the United States and a total of 144 Future Shop and Best Buy stores in Canada. By year-end, the company also expects to have more than 105,000 employees, all striving to find new ways to provide Best Buy’s customers with complete solutions and fun shopping experiences.

The company estimates that its total domestic retail square footage (excluding distribution centers) will increase to approximately 30.1 million square feet at the end of fiscal 2006 from approximately 28.5 million square feet at the end of fiscal 2005. The company estimates that its international retail square footage will increase to approximately 3.5 million square feet during that same period, up from approximately 3 million square feet. As usual, the majority of the new stores are expected to be opened in the company’s fiscal third quarter, prior to the holiday selling season.

As part of its growth management plan, Best Buy regularly evaluates the performance of existing stores for expansion, closing or relocation opportunities. Such activities would not be expected to have a material impact on the company.

Forward-Looking and Cautionary Statements:

This news release contains forward-looking statements that reflect management’s current views and estimates regarding future market conditions, company performance and financial results, business prospects, new strategies, the competitive environment and other events. You can identify these statements by the fact that they use words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” and other words and terms of similar meaning. These statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Among the factors that could cause actual results and outcomes to differ materially from those contained in such forward-looking statements are the following: general economic conditions, acquisitions and development of new businesses, product availability, sales volumes, profit margins, weather, foreign currency fluctuation, availability of suitable real estate locations, our ability to react to a disaster recovery situation, and the impact of labor markets and new product introductions on our overall profitability. A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties and other matters can be found in the company’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 18, 2004, and in our other periodic reports filed from time to time with the SEC. Best Buy cautions that the foregoing list of important factors is not complete and assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements that it may make.

About Best Buy Co., Inc.

Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) is an innovative Fortune 100 growth company that continually strives to create superior customer experiences. Through more than 820 retail stores across the United States and in Canada, our employees connect customers with technology and entertainment products and services that make life easier and more fun. We sell consumer electronics, home-office products, entertainment software, appliances and related services. A Minneapolis-based company, our operations include: Best Buy (BestBuy.com and BestBuyCanada.ca), Future Shop (FutureShop.ca), Geek Squad (GeekSquad.com) and Magnolia Audio Video (Magnoliaav.com). We support our communities through employee volunteerism and grants from The Best Buy Children’s Foundation.



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