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Best Buy says goodbye to China stores


Minneapolis – While some retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores, are ramping up their store presence in China, Best Buy Co. is pulling up stakes. The consumer electronics chain has entered into a definitive agreement for the sale of its Five Star business to the Jiayuan Group, a China-based real estate firm.

Best Buy entered the Chinese retail market by purchasing a majority interest in Jiangsu Five Star in 2006 and now operates 184 stores in China, all under the Five Star brand. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in the first quarter of fiscal 2016.

The transaction will not affect Best Buy’s private label business in China, and the retailer said no similar plans are in the works for its Canada or Mexico operations.

“Over the last two years we have worked to improve our business in China and are proud of the progress we have made there,” said Hubert Joly, president and CEO of Best Buy. “We were recently approached by Jiayuan Group, a respected Chinese investment group, which offered to acquire the business with plans to further expand it.”

Yiqing Pan, COO of Jiayuan Group, will become CEO of Five Star.
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