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Carphone Warehouse looks to expand Stateside

LONDON - Mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse is reportedly considering a partnership with US electronics giant BestBuy to open stores in the North American market.

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According to media reports on both sides of the Atlantic, Carphone Warehouse plans to open stores in the United States and Canada once a commercial agreement for a limited rollout with BestBuy has been agreed.

However, a spokesperson for Carphone Warehouse told Brand Republic that the reports were "just speculation", and that no announcement was imminent.

It is understood that Carphone Warehouse has recognised the absence of any significant independent mobile phone retailers in North America, and is keen to tap into the market.

The deal would mark a significant expansion for Carphone Warehouse were it to go ahead. Sources close to the company's chief executive Charles Dunstone have stated that the company has been working on a business plan for the last two weeks.

Should an agreement be made, BestBuy would likely provide the distribution network needed to raise the profile of Carphone Warehouse in North America, where the brand is practically unknown.

Some reports have gone as far to suggest that Carphone Warehouse's first US store will open in New York in a matter of weeks, with the rest to follow in major US cities over the coming months.

Carphone Warehouse remains tight-lipped on the possibility of a deal with BestBuy, but a further announcement could be made when it releases a trading update on October 11.

The chain is currently battling it out with BSkyB to buy AOL's UK arm for around £1bn, after Orange reportedly pulled out of the race.

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