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EDEN PRAIRIE, MN-Best Buy Co., the largest consumer electronics retailer in the US, plans to revamp its entire chain of stores to target five groups of customers ranging from suburban mothers to small business owners amid stiffer competition from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The electronics retailer also plans to attract new groups of customers by launching its customer centricity initiative and other merchants.

Best Buy says it will spend $50 million this year to transform up to 110 stores in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Among the improvements will be new signs and product displays, such as a home-theater system set up in a mock living room. The changes are expected to be completed prior to the holiday season.

The “customer centricity” initiative will likely be brought to all 608 Best Buy stores in the next three years, chief executive Brad Anderson told analysts and investors in Los Angeles.

Last year, Best Buy began testing its customer centricity initiative at 32 lab stores in several markets, including the Twin Cities. The selected stores included both high-performing and below-average stores, and all were compared with a set of control stores. At Best Buy’s 32 lab stores, fourth-quarter comparable store sales gains averaged seven percentage points higher compared with other US Best Buy stores.

For example, Best Buy is appealing to suburban moms with personal shopping assistants, and to small business owners with the services of Geek Squad, a 24-hour, rapid response computer support task force. Other targeted groups include the affluent professional, the focused, active, younger male customer, and the family man.

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