Saturday, October 13, 2012

Best Buy's New Look & Give Away

We were invited to look at one of Best Buy's new store layouts today. Four stores in the Twin Cities had grand openings for their new store design (with others in other parts of the country). Many have commented on how it's similar to Apple Stores--my wife is the one who goes to the Apple Store more often, so I can't comment on that. I do know that it was very "user friendly."

The signage makes it easy to find what section of the store you are trying to get to. Products were well displayed. Staff was on hand to ask questions. And you can purchase your items at many locations throughout the store. Best Buy now has "Solution Central" and other areas in the store to get help--not only on finding what you need, but to help get information on how to find the right technology for your needs, set-up/wire/connect your entertainment centers or computers, and people on hand to help fix any products that aren't working.

While we were at the store in Eden Prairie, Best Buy was having give-aways throughout the day to celebrate their grand opening (we didn't win anything, but there were some nice prizes). Earlier in the morning, chef Kevin Vanderaa, big winner on the Food Network's Cupcake Challenge, had been on hand doing some baking demonstrations. "Cupcakes at Best Buy?" you may ask. If you have seen their new kitchen section, you'll understand why. They have quite a nice selection of kitchen appliances on hand now--anything from Frigidaire refrigerators to Kitchen Aid mixers. Additionally, they were offering a few workshops throughout the day--much like Home Depot offers workshops on DIY projects, Best Buy was offering talks on things like "Time Saving Apps" and "Media for On-the-Go."

I was glad to see all their traditional electronics were still offered and well-stocked. I was delighted to find some things I didn't expect: in addition to all their kitchen products I also came across an instrumental section (if I need to replace a guitar string), office supplies, even Star Wars Lego watches. Which was a plus, because I had my youngest son with, and he was happy with all the fun things to look out (most of the displays are at eye-level and many are where children can check out things they'd be interested in as well). Be sure to check out a Best Buy store with their new layout if you have one near you.

Best Buy has offered some some gift cards to my readers. If you're interested in winning one, please leave a comment on this post (especially if you have visited a new store--I'd love to hear what you thought) with a way to get ahold of you if  you win (such as an email address if one isn't connected to your log-in). Winners will be drawn at random on Saturday, October 21 at noon CST. Please post your comment before then.


  1. This is fanatic news. Bob's been approved by his OT plan to get a tablet and we're at a loss as to which would work best with his ability level and tech non-savvyness. We were cringing at the thought of going to BB because of previous bad experiences but will gladly check out their new stores. Thanks!

  2. Hmmmm . . . Apple stores do have a way of making me want, want, want . . . I guess Best Buy is smart, copying that/stealing their strategy. I do appreciate the ability to try before you buy -- I know my mom is in the market for a new computer and has no idea where to even begin. Where's the closest Best Buy to AC? :)

  3. That sounds intriguing. Anything to help a person find what they need is appreciated, especially when there are so many options nowadays. Don't get me wrong, I would prefer having a wealth of choices when it comes to picking a new product or gadget rather than being forced to choose from maybe only two or three options that don't quite fit what I'm looking for or need. But consumer confusion comes with the territory when so many more options are available.

    For example, you can't just walk into a store and say, "I need a new TV." Ten or fifteen years ago you could do that and by and large one brand or style of television wasn't that much different than any other. But now there are so many different choices: HD (1080p or 1080i, 720p), 3D, the number and quality of audio/video ports, refresh rates, contrast ratios and on and on. Depending on what brand you buy or how much you spend you can get TVs of vastly different qualities. So it's good to see that Best Buy is coming up with solutions that might help people that may not be so tech savvy make more informed choices.

    We also used Best Buy to purchase our fridge and microwave when we remodeled out kitchen in our old house in Davenport. They were two different brands (GE and Samsung, IIRC) but they matched well since there was quite a large selection to choose from. Both products were delivered to our door and would have been carried inside, but at that stage in or our remodel we couldn't bring them in yet, as the cabinets and counters weren't installed yet.

    As far as I know, there aren't any plans to open a new Best Buy in this area any time soon, so I doubt I'll be able to check out their new layout. But, we will be moving soon; maybe the area we're moving to will be sporting this new style someday.

  4. Hi Dave! Thanks for the highlights: I always think of Best Buy first for computers and cameras, and I did purchase my last computer there but went to an office supply store sale for my Olympus camera. As I am soon in the market for both of those (within a year I think), I am encouraged by the shift. My impression is that Best Buy is not usually the Best Deal... a formidable challenge in a world of endless options, both brick and web! Thanks for the review, I may even wander back into this store just to see (perhaps with my own lego-lads in tow). -Kirsten W.

  5. Even Best Buy wants in on the Homemaker Dad action? Awesome deal :) I read this earlier on my phone, thanks for the FB reminder to come back and score a gift card.