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Best Buy Signs With FreeMarkets

In a move to bolster its online retailing operation, consumer electronics retailer Best Buy Co. Inc. is signing on to use e-sourcing technology from FreeMarkets Inc. .

Minneapolis-based Best Buy said it would leverage Pittsburgh-based FreeMarkets' FullSource solution to source a variety of goods and services for its operations.

Financial terms were not disclosed. The agreement follows the completion of a successful pilot, which FreeMarkets and Best Buy began in June 2001.

"Best Buy is aggressively adopting and implementing technologies that will allow us to extend our leadership in the retail market to the Internet," said Jeff Johnson, director and B2B vice president of marketing for the company.

FreeMarkets said its FullSource solution offers expert e-sourcing services in hundreds of spending categories; industry-specific program management; around-the-clock global market operations services; and information and knowledge about specific commodities and supply market dynamics.

Best Buy operates 1,800 retail stores and Web sites under the names BestBuy.com, FutureShop.ca; MagnoliaHiFi.com, MediaPlay.com, OnCue.com, SamGoody.com and Suncoast.com. The company already has sourced merchandising items, engineering and construction services, as well as packaging and IT equipment through FullSource.