Carphone Warehouse will close its Best Buy electrical shops, just 18 months after the first store opened its doors.
The chain, a partnership with American electronics giant Best Buy, operates eleven large ‘big-box’ stores in the South East and Midlands.
Which? deputy technology editor Andy Vandervell says: ‘It’s disappointing to hear that Best Buy UK will be closing its doors to UK consumers. It offered much needed competition in a sector dominated by Dixons Retail stores.
‘It’s imperative, however, that the company is clear and fair to its customers with regards to its commitments to them, particularly where services such as insurance and replacement promises are concerned.’
First year losses
The chain, which has over 800 stores in the US, opened its first branch in April last year in Thurrock, Essex.
It attempted to lure shoppers in with reduced prices on opening and its Geek Squad technology support service, but it lost £62m in its first year of trading.
Popular with shoppers
Best Buy earned good scores in the Which? high street shops survey, scoring 69% overall and 74% for electrical items. It was rated particularly highly for its product range and service.
The company blamed its lack of success on the economic downturn and competition from online shops.
Best Buy Europe chief executive Andrew Harrison said: ‘The technology world has changed substantially since 2008 and we are confident we will best serve our customers by investing in a single brand and format rather than two.’