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Best Buy opens its first small-format, digital-first store today in Monroe. The multinational consumer electronics retailer company says it is a part of the new store models it is testing “to meet our customers’ varied and changing needs.”
“This is one more way we’re continuing to invest in our stores to better serve our customers’ needs in an ever-growing digital world and create a more seamless shopping experience,” says Best Buy in the announcement. “We’ll continue learning from our store pilots in Charlotte as this new small-format store test gets underway.”
The store, which measures 5,000 sq. ft., is undeniably far from the conventional Best Buy stores customers used to visit in different locations. It is particularly small, so expect that not all products originally available in its bigger format counterpart will be available here. Best Buy also underlines this, saying it will only include a “curated selection of best-in-category products” from various sections, like home theater and audio, computing, headphones, wearables, fitness, cell phones, cameras, smart home, and small appliances. Large TVs will also be available in the store, but Best Buy stresses that larger products and appliances won’t be available for viewing there. On a positive note, customers can still order and buy them on BestBuy.com and pick them up in the Monroe store.
The main highlight of this new digital-first store is the experience and purchase process of the products available. Here, customers will first see a 7-foot-tall digital display at the entrance, informing them of the shop’s offerings and features. They will also be encouraged to go digital by using their phones to scan the QR codes on products in the shop that they can touch and try. After scanning them, they can pick up the items at the order pickup counter once one of the expert Blue Shirts has collected them in the store’s backroom. When customers arrive at the register, their orders will be ready to purchase. For small items like charging cables, cell phone cases, and gift cards, everyone can use the Best Buy app to scan the product barcodes and do the mobile self-checkout option. In-store pickup service is available in the store alongside the new pickup lockers set outside for a more versatile pickup option.
In addition, customers can receive live assistance from an expert while in the shop via call, chat, or video chat. And if they want to make it more personal, Best Buy stresses that their Blue Shirts will always offer all the help they can give. There are also Geek Squad and consultation services areas placed in the store, so customers have a dedicated spot to visit when looking for pieces of advice in their purchases.