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Gadgets

Best Buy arrives in the UK in May

US gadget giant Best Buy is opening its first technology barn in the UK in May. Is this the end of the line for the Dixons-Currys-PC World axis of retail?

Best Buy, the Toys'R'Us of consumer technology, is to open its first gadget warehouse in the UK in May.

Best Buy owns the US consumer technology retail market -- as well as part of Carphone Warehouse in the UK. The company says it's bringing its aggressive pricing over here to challenge the DSGi stranglehold on UK gadget retail. DSGi owns Currys, PC World and Dixons, and is currently rivalled by Comet and large supermarkets.

Best Buy stores will offer trade-in deals on your existing kit, and a price-match policy. If you see the product offered at a cheaper price in another shop before you buy it, you'll get a 10 per cent discount. If you see it cheaper up to 30 days after you've shelled out, Best Buy will refund the difference. This applies to products on sale in shops within 15 miles, and doesn't include sales or online prices.

The company is going up against supermarket chains such as Sainsburys, Tesco and Asda that now offer off-the-shelf TVs, mobiles and other technology, along with the likes of Dixons and Comet with their -- ahem -- specialised knowledge. Best Buy staff won't work on commission, and stores will offer tech support appointments with the Geek Squad, who currently operate in branches of Carphone Warehouse.

The first opening will be a 50,000 square foot shop at the Junction Retail Park near Lakeside in Thurrock, Essex, in May. The Thurrock shop will be followed by one in Hedge End in Southampton and Merry Hill in the West Midlands, both set to open in June. Later in the year, branches will open in Aintree in Liverpool and Croydon, the new Barcelona. A flagship West End outlet may also be on the cards.

Incidentally, if you're a Twitter user looking for for gadget help, you can send a tweet to Best Buy's Twitter team... called, inevitably yet unforgivably, 'Twelpforce'.

What do you think of Best Buy's entry to the UK? Would you buy from its shops? How do you think it will compare to the Dixons and Comets of the world? Let us know in the comments below.