POINT OF SALE KAVITA KUMAR

Former Best Buy CEO going to tech start-up

Former Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn is getting back in the game.

Three years after he left the Richfield-based electronics retailer, he is joining Minneapolis tech start-up Upsie as its chairman, effective June 1.

Upsie, which allows consumers to buy a warranty for smartphones, televisions and other devices, launched its app in November. The company says it now has more than 50,000 users.

In a blog post, Upsie said it is "confident" Dunn will help the start-up move faster and strategically to accelerate its growth and strengthen its leadership team.

"Brian's 27 years of cutting-edge consumer electronics business experience and entrepreneurial philosophies bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Upsie," the company said on its blog. "For our team, Brian's extensive knowledge in developing people and leaders additionally will improve our leadership and ability to deliver world-class customer experiences."

Dunn resigned from Best Buy in 2012 after three years in the top job amid allegations he used company resources to carry on an affair with an employee. His abrupt departure set off a turbulent time for the retailer.

Clarence Bethea, CEO of Upsie, recently told the Star Tribune that his company offers warranties for lower prices than many retailers offer in their stores and helps users keep track of their warranty by storing it within the app on their smartphone.

http://www.startribune.com/blogs/Point_of_Sale.html

Food Market Tom Meersman

Corn and soybeans way ahead of schedule

Ideal weather conditions across Minnesota last week allowed farmers to continue planting corn, soybeans and other crops well ahead of average.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported this week that Minnesota's corn planting jumped to 83 percent complete, the second-highest amount planted by this date in 30 years. Nearly one-third of the soybean acreage has been planted, the most by this date in three decades. And all small grains were more than 90 percent planted.

Unlike last year, when planting was delayed longer than usual by a late winter and heavy spring rains, the 2015 growing season is beginning three to four weeks earlier in much of the state.

USDA surveys growers across the nation each week to estimate crop progress and conditions. By this date in 2014, only 7 percent of the corn and 0 percent of the soybeans had been planted.

The report also indicated that 54 percent of the spring wheat crop has emerged, and sugar beet planting in the state is virtually complete, the earliest time this has happened in three decades.

http://www.startribune.com/blogs/foodmarket.html