Retailing, Franchising, and Consumerism Business Intelligence in China

Five Star Appliance Becomes Apple First-tier Distributor In China

According to the information from the headquarters of the Jiangsu-based Five Star Appliance, which was acquired by the American electronics giant Best Buy, the company has signed an agreement with Apple to become its first-tier distributor.

Under this agreement, Apple's store-in-store will enter 40 quality retail stores of Five Star Appliance in 2009. The first batch of five Apple store-in-store areas will reportedly be opened during the upcoming Labor Day holiday on May 1, 2009, and these stores will be located in Five Star's Nanjing Xinjiekou store, Wuxi Shenglimen store, Suzhou Shilu store, Hangzhou Wensanlu store, and Changzhou Guanhelu store, respectively. Before the end of September 2009, the 40 Apple stores-in-store will all open for business and some of these stores will introduce Internet access to provide customers with convenient experiences.

Apple's worldwide distribution are divided into four specifications, which are Apple store, Apple store-in-store, Apple quality distributor, and Apple distributor. Apple store is directly opened by the company itself and there is only one such store in China that is located in Sanlitun, Beijing.

Jing Xing, Five Star's director for brand and market promotion, said that Best Buy's international department has signed a worldwide strategic cooperative agreement with Apple. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Best Buy, Five Star Appliance will be the core sector for this cooperation in China. Five Star Appliance will select 40 quality stores to implement the cooperation in four phases. Meanwhile, Apple's plants will adopt the one-stop supply model to supply products to Five Star Appliance's retail stores.

Jing said Apple store-in-store is one of the most important projects for Five Star Appliance in 2009. This project has a significant meaning for improving Five Star Appliance's image, further attracting young customers, and providing a new business model to the company.

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