The roots of Best Buy Co., Inc. can be traced back to St. Paul, Minnesota. This is where founder Richard Schulze opened the doors of his Sound of Music store in 1966. Understanding a demand for consumer audio components and systems in the St. Paul area, Schulze managed to provide a combination of great prices and excellent service, thus building a strong customer base, which quickly prompted an expansion into home appliances and video products. The eighties prompted change as well as the opening of Best Buy's first superstore. During 1983, a new corporate name was approved and the Sound of Music Company became known as Best Buy Co., Inc. With mounting consumer support Best Buy continued its road to expansion by opening an additional five stores. In 1985, the newly named company was being publicly traded under the symbol BBY. The late eighties brought forth additional change for the continuously growing company. Best Buy adopted a new concept in retail merchandising with the opening of massive superstores. The new concept shifted the placing of all inventory on the sales floor and hiring a specialized staff of non-commissioned service representatives (FAQ). Such adaptations have fueled the company into progression and continued to promote the company's corporate vision of "Making life fun and easy"(Fact Sheet). Philanthropy plays a huge part in the success of Best Buy Co., Inc. During 1994, The Best Buy Children's Foundation was founded (FAQ). The foundation offers support to communities by way of contributions to several organizations found nationwide. This support strengthens communities by integrating interactive technology into everyday experiences. All of the programs funded by the Best Buy Children's Foundation are easily accessible to students. These programs also provide social services and disaster relief support in connection with non-profit organizations like the Red Cross and United Way. They also offer and support community volunteerism. Best Buy Children's Foundation also has a scholarship, which offers scholarships to students who have exceptional academic achievement and outstanding community service. Annually more than $2 million in scholarships are granted to over 1,300 students. The scholarships are evenly disbursed in each U.S. Congressional District and the District of Columbia. Three students who will be attending an accredited school are selected from each district and receive a scholarship for $1,000 or $2,000. In recent years, Best Buy Co., Inc. has stretched its grasp to the international retail technology industry. Acquisition of Canada's largest existing consumer electronics retailer, Future Shop, spearheaded the international expansion in early 2001. This paved the path for the official launch of the Best Buy's independent label, Redline Entertainment. Within the Canadian sector two separate superstores exist, Best Buy (Canada) and Future Shop, both of which target a broad costumer base. Understanding the recognition and loyalty amongst Canadian consumers, Best Buy has continued the use of the Future Shop named superstores. Since the acquisition of the Future Shop, Best Buy Co. has expanded the Future Shop locations to its status of 114 stores across Canada. In addition to Future Shop stores, Canadian Best Buy stores have continued to expand within the past three years; numbering 30 to date. The company truly extended itself worldwide in 2003 with the unveiling of a global sourcing office in Shanghai, China. Currently Best Buy operates three offices within China. They are located in Shanghai, Beijing, and Shenzhen. The primary function of the China locations is to buy the products in which Best Buy Co., Inc. sells. Over the next year and a half, Best Buy Co., Inc. is planning on opening what they refer to as "lab stores"(Best Buy Geeks Run amok). The company is taking every opportunity possible to acquire as much information it can about Chinese buying patterns...
Cited: Best Buy ™ "Fact Sheet Fourth Quarter- Fiscal 2005 (ended Feb 6, 2005)" 6, 200
Best Buy ™ "FAQ" 6
Star Telegram "BEST BUY GEEKS TO RUN AMOK" 4/28/05
WCCO © 2005 The Associated Press "Best Buy Expansion Plans Include China" 4/27/05
Yahoo Finance- "Quotes & Info- Best Buy Co Inc (BBY)"
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