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Best Buy Into Goleta as CompUSA Bows Out?

Camino Real Marketplace manager says electronics retailer excited about prospect of moving in.

Ten years after a failed bid to enter the South Coast market, Best Buy is the likely next occupant of a building in the Camino Real Marketplace vacated in February by the now-dissolved CompUSA.

Although nothing has been finalized, the Goleta shopping center’s manager said both the electronics retailer and the Camino Real Marketplace are excited about the prospect of a Best Buy in Goleta.

“They very much want into this market,” Mark Ingalls, property and general manager of Camino Real Marketplace said Thursday. “Frankly, we think they’d be a good fit for Goleta as well.”

He added that Best Buy could move into the center located near the intersection of Hollister Avenue and Storke Road as soon as October.

CompUSA, a retailer of electronics and computer services, foundered as a nationwide chain, and in December was sold to a liquidation company that began the process of shutting down the 100 or so remaining stores.

Despite having closed its doors at 7090 Marketplace Drive in mid-February, CompUSA is still leasing the building from Camino Real Marketplace. Ingalls said the companies are working toward a lease transfer.

Ingalls said Best Buy had tried unsuccessfully to claim a spot at the center when it was constructed in 1998, but the deal fell through. Since then, he said, Best Buy has proven to be a strong competitor in an uncertain market.

“As a company they are doing very well,” he said. “Even in this slow market, they continue to outperform the other stores in their category.”

Ingalls said no firm date has been set for Best Buy’s South Coast debut.

“Late this year would be their hope — I mean, that’s optimistic,” he said. “We don’t actually have a deal with them yet.”

The retailer has stores in both Santa Maria and Ventura.

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