Best Buy Opens Digital-First Shop

Published on 18 Jul 2022

Best Buy, Digital-First Shop

Best Buy will launch a digital-first, small-format shop in Monroe, North Carolina, in the first week of August. This store will take a significantly different strategy than most of its "big box" retail sites. The 5,000-square-foot site is only around 15 percent as large as the average Best Buy store, which is between 35,000 and 40,000 square feet and is even smaller than many smaller Apple Stores, which are normally between 6,000 and 8,500 square feet.

Last year, Bloomberg reported that Best Buy was exploring downsizing sites of around 27,000 square feet to as little as 15,000 square feet, but this is far smaller, edging closer to the footprint of the now-closed Best Buy Mobile. This test shop is located in the Charlotte region, where Best Buy opened five other test stores last year, experimenting with anything from a renovation to an outlet-style strategy.

Also Read: The Technology That Died in 2021

What’s To Be Expected?

This new shop will be outfitted with a "selected assortment" of Best Buy items, including giant TVs, PCs, headphones, wearables, mobile phones, etc., unlike Best Buy's outlet stores and bigger locations, which include numerous major appliances and gadgets. However, it does not have any significant devices.

The "digital first" shop experience incorporates Best Buy's website and applications, as well as lockers for online order pickups, but in-store, it begins with a 7-foot screen displaying information about the store's offerings.

With the exception of minor products suitable for mobile self-checkout (charging cables, phone covers, and gift cards), most of the items on the sales floor are only display units, similar to the Apple Store. Best Buy's Scan It method is initiated by scanning a QR code on a product when you wish to purchase anything. Someone will get the item from the rear for you to buy.

There are members of the Geek Squad and various customer consultation places inside the shop, so there is no necessity for concern over the presence of blue-shirted employees. You might even get live shopping assistance from an expert at Best Buy's "virtual store" by phone call, video call, or web chat while in the store.

Other Companies Following Suit

Best Buy is not the only company reevaluating its traditional brick-and-mortar operating strategy in response to the epidemic; Walmart, for instance, has expanded direct delivery to your refrigerator. Amazon established a brick-and-mortar clothes store in May, integrating new technologies to enhance in-person purchasing for products that cannot be purchased online.



Featured image: BestBuy


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