Best Buy eyes China growth with online store on Tmall

By Zhang Ye Source:Global Times Published: 2012-9-5 0:20:05

US electronics retailer Best Buy Co started selling its self-owned brands online in China, an online home appliance operator told the Global Times Tuesday.

"Best Buy's self-owned brand division is cooperating with us to sell its products," Tian Yuan, chief brand officer of, told the Global Times Tuesday.

A flagship store named Rocketfish, a self-owned electronics brand of Best Buy, was officially opened on B2C website on August 28.

"Now the store is mainly selling Rocketfish series. Other self-owned brands of Best Buy will also be gradually made available on the platform," said Tian.

However, Jiangsu Five Star Appliance Co, which is Best Buy's wholly owned subsidiary and is responsible for Best Buy's operation in the Chinese mainland, said it was unaware of the cooperation when contacted by the Global Times Tuesday.

The move came amid decreasing profits at Best Buy, which closed 50 shops in March and retrenched 2,400 employees in July worldwide.

Experts said that Best Buy is turning to China's booming e-commerce sector in a bid to fuel its growth in the world's second largest economy, as its business stutters in other countries.

China market has huge potential for Best Buy and other overseas retailers. The companies should try to target Chinese consumers amid the global economic gloom, said Lu Renbo, director of the China Electronics Chamber of Commerce.

It is a wise decision for Best Buy to let a local Chinese operator manage its online business due to different cultural backgrounds, an industry insider surnamed Chen told the Global Times Tuesday. "But the move will have little impact on the structure of China's appliance retail market in the short term," he noted.

Major Chinese home appliance retailers including Suning and Gome are fiercely competing for online business.

Best Buy closed its last store in China and declared to exit the Chinese market on February 22, 2011, due to unsuccessful localization.

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