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Best Buy Wants to Sell Musicland Business

March 31, 2003

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Best Buy Co. said Monday that it wants to sell its Musicland business, saying the subsidiary has sustained declines in CD sales and hasn’t performed as well as expected in selling consumer electronics.

``We are working diligently to complete a sale of Musicland,″ chief executive Brad Anderson said in a news release.

Best Buy said it has hired an investment banking firm to help it with the sale.

Anderson said Connie Fuhrman, executive vice president of Musicland, was promoted to president of the subsidiary to lead it during the transition. The company said it expected to report on Musicland’s status in June.

Best Buy, based in Minneapolis, is the nation’s leading retailer of consumer electronics, computers, entertainment software and appliances.

Earlier this month, the company said it was laying off 60 people as it reorganized its marketing and retail support departments. In January, Best Buy announced the closing of about 110 Sam Goody and Suncoast stores, citing a decline in sales of prerecorded music and the slowdown in mall traffic.

Best Buy paid nearly $700 million for Musicland two years ago. The greatest decline in Musicland’s same-store sales was at its 736 Sam Goody CD stores. The Musicland division also includes 383 Suncoast video stores and 76 Media Play outlets.

Musicland has 1,200 stores nationwide.

Best Buy shares rose 7 cents to close at $26.97 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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On the Net:

Best Buy: http://www.bestbuy.com/

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