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Best Buy has "soft opening" in Shanghai
2007-01-02 10:24:55 Xinhua English

BEIJING, Jan. 3 (Xinhuanet) -- Best Buy has joined forces with China's 14th largest appliance retailer -- Jiangsu Five Star Appliance Co. -- to open an outlet in Shanghai's Xujiahui shopping district. It's the U.S.-based electronics retailer's first store outside of North America.

The No. 1 U.S. consumer electronics retailer is one of scores of foreign retailers taking advantage of a lifting of limits on foreign competition to try to woo consumers in the world's biggest potential market.

In a so-called "soft opening," the store opens its doors to regular customers Thursday. On Tuesday, it invited journalists for a preview of its 80,000 square feet outlet-- the companyí»s biggest store anywhere.

Lu Weiming, chairman and general manager of Best Buy China's grand entrance had none of the formal dignity typical of most corporate events as he swept throughaisles giving "high fives" to cheering staffersdressed in bright blue polo shirts.

"We are confident that we now have a store model that will differentiate us and win the consumer's heart," Lu said.

Best Buy says it intends to win overChinese customers with clean, pleasant outlets and helpful, dependable service.

At the Shanghai store, the atmosphere is distinctly American.The store's four floors are brightly lit, with spacious, carpeted aisles and dozens of brands to choose from in most product ranges, from computer accessories and home entertainment systems to the latest kitchen equipment.

Despite intense local competition in the lower segments of the market, highly competitive foreign brands in malls and shopping centers aimed at the country's fast-growing "middle class," who are willingand able to pay a bit more for better service and quality.

(Agencies)

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