US electricals giant Best Buy has postponed the launch of UK operations.

Best Buy Europe, a joint venture with Carphone Warehouse, has delayed the opening of its first store in this country from this summer until the first quarter of 2010.

Like many retailers, Best Buy has been affected by the global downturn. But Carphone Warehouse finance director and joint venture chief executive Roger Taylor told the Financial Times the postponement was “unrelated” to Best Buy’s difficulties.
He said: “If it makes more commercial sense to open three or four months later, that is what we will do.

“Because of the economic climate [it is] more sensible to wait for better sites… the quality of the sites is getting better, but also the economics. So, rather than rushing in just to pin a timetable, in the scheme of a five-to-10-year plan I would rather wait to have four to five stores in great locations in a cluster.”

News of the delay followed an update from DSGi, the leading UK electricals retailer expected to be most threatened by Best Buy’s arrival, that revamped stores are trading well and its new Currys Megastore model will be piloted in more locations.

Pali International analyst Nick Bubb described Best Buy’s postponed debut as embarrassing and said it was likely to encourage investors to “give DSG the benefit of the doubt” as boss John Browett proceeds with his transformation programme.;