US electronics store Best Buy has had a hard time of it trying to establish itself in Britain. The US company is a major electronics mega-store with a high Internet presence as well. Best Buy reported an annual revenue of 33 billion pounds (US $50 Billion). It arrived in Britain three months ago and has launched three stores. It has plans to open 80 more through a partnership with Carphone Warehouse.
Just days ago the man who oversaw the UK launch of Best Buy quit abruptly. Paul Antoniadis, who was Best Buy Europe’s Chief Executive left amidst rumors that perhaps the first stores had been less successful as expected. On the same day however, it was announced that Best Buy and Worldwide Sales Corporation were to be in court due to letters Worldwide had written to Best Buy Europe’s American Head Office. It seems Worldwide owns the trademark rights to use the Best Buy name in Europe. They have traded as Best Buy International for 16 years.
The letter read: “Until a negotiated solution is reached, we hereby request that your client refrain from using the Best Buy trademark in Europe, issuing any Press articles or making any announcement of its imminent activities in Europe.”
The dispute over the trademark ended the two in court after Best Buy accused Worldwide of using language in their letters that suggested their intention to sue. A judge dismissed the action. The dispute over the rights to the Best Buy trademark remains unresolved.
In reference to what type of influence the dispute might have on the launch of the British Best Buy stores, a Best Buy spokesman said: “This has absolutely no material impact on the roll-out of the stores.”
Best Buy stores carry items from cellular phones and cameras to computer programs and major appliances. They have competitive pricing and should be well received in the UK.