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RICHFIELD, MN-Best Buy Co. recently promoted Kal Patel to head its efforts to expand overseas, including the expansion into China. The Richfield-based retailer of consumer electronics said late last month that it plans to open “lab” stores within the next 12 to 18 months in China. The stores will allow the retailer to learn about consumers in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

“He will play a critical role in leading and driving growth opportunities in new markets, including a retail presence in China,” says Allen Lenzmeier, vice chairman of Best Buy. Patel, who was named executive vice president of strategy and international, will continue to report to Lenzmeier.

Patel joined Best Buy in 2003 as vice president of strategy and was promoted to senior vice president of strategy and international in 2004. He previously was a senior partner at Strategos, one of the leading strategy and innovation-consulting firms in North America and Europe.

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