Best Buy Gingerly Starts Selling Apple Computers Again

Best Buy Co. Inc. (BBY) is taking a little nibble of Apple computers.

The nation's largest consumer electronics retailer is testing the possibility of selling Apple Computer Inc.'s (AAPL) full line of computers in its stores.

Currently, Best Buy carries only Apple's iPod music player and accessories.

Best Buy has added Apple computers in seven stores and it's considering expanding Mac sales across the chain, Best Buy Senior Vice President for Merchandising David Morrish said at the company's annual meeting on Wednesday.

Morrish said the test began four weeks ago.

Best Buy stopped selling Apple computers in 1998 because of slow sales, and soon after Apple pulled out of most retailers. It later rebuilt its retail operation by opening its own stores.

Morrish said the computers are being sold by Best Buy employees who have been trained by Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple.

He said Best Buy is watching to see whether the computers can be sold profitably, and whether Best Buy employees can provide the level of customer service that Apple customers are used to getting in an Apple store.

Shares of Apple rose 39 cents to close at $57.86 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Best Buy shares fell 13 cents to close at $52.80 on the New York Stock Exchange.