Best Buy opens small-format, digital-first store in North Carolina

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,459   +171
Staff member
In brief: On Tuesday, Best Buy opened its first ever small-format, digital-first retail experience. The 5,000 sq. ft. store in Monroe, North Carolina, is significantly smaller than your run-of-the-mill Best Buy. It features a curated selection of best-in-category products ranging from headphones, smartphones and wearables to audio, computing and smart home gadgets.

Geek Squad members are also on site to lend a helping hand, and familiar services like in-store pickup and around-the-clock pickup lockers outside the store persist.

Most products in the store will be on display for shoppers to see, touch and try out. When it comes times to buy, customers can use their phone to scan a QR code on a product's price tag and send the order to the pickup counter. A Best Buy employee will then retrieve the item from the backroom and bring it to the register to complete the purchase.

The store won't carry major appliances and other large products (except big-screen televisions) due to space constraints. Such items can still be ordered online and shipped locally or shopped at one of Best Buy's larger-format stores in the Charlotte area.

Best Buy said customers can also get advice via call, chat or video chat while in store. Those who don't want to fool with these digital options can simply talk to an in-store employee instead.

The experiment is Best Buy's latest attempt to keep pace with the rapidly evolving retail landscape. The Internet and e-commerce giants like Amazon decimated the retail shopping experience over the past couple of decades, and many are still scrambling to find a model that works in this day and age.

Permalink to story.

 

envirovore

Posts: 533   +982
TechSpot Elite
Hmmm...for fun, and off the top of my head, some electronics and associated items totaling into the thousands that I've purchased within the last 4 years without actually physically viewing or using first which continue to function as (or better than) expected:

32" TV
32" Gigabyte M32U monitor
Prebuilt PC (Ryzen 5 2600, ASRock pro m 450, 8GB DDR4, Zotac RTX 2060, WD Blue 500GB SSD)
16 GB DDR 4 3200 to replace the lonely single stick in the above machine.
Ryzen 7 3700x
Gigabyte Arous Elite x570 motherboard
32GB Crucial Ballistix DDR4
EVGA RTX 3080
EVGA G5 850W PSU
Ryzen 7 5700x
1500w UPS
Several 1 and 2 TB SSDs
Several 4TB external HDDs
4500sq ft dehumidifier
Electric stove and oven
Printer, scanner, copier
Modem
Router

Nevermind the countless PC components in the many years prior, audio equipment, all sorts of other crap that still works.

All from the comfort of home.

Edit: And as context for this has been zapped...uh...I say we turn this thread into a list of things we've bought online that still work as they should. Because that'd be a good time, wouldn't it?

(If anything, and not to come off defending some corporate entity, it's not a terrible move. Ive used in store products just to get an idea for the size of a thing before deciding to just order it or an equivalent online, if only for ease of getting it to the house sometimes.)
 
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m4a4

Posts: 3,099   +4,145
TechSpot Elite
Hmmm...for fun, and off the top of my head, some electronics and associated items totaling into the thousands that I've purchased within the last 4 years without actually physically viewing or using first which continue to function as (or better than) expected:

32" TV
32" Gigabyte M32U monitor
Prebuilt PC (Ryzen 5 2600, ASRock pro m 450, 8GB DDR4, Zotac RTX 2060, WD Blue 500GB SSD)
16 GB DDR 4 3200 to replace the lonely single stick in the above machine.
Ryzen 7 3700x
Gigabyte Arous Elite x570 motherboard
32GB Crucial Ballistix DDR4
EVGA RTX 3080
EVGA G5 850W PSU
Ryzen 7 5700x
1500w UPS
Several 1 and 2 TB SSDs
Several 4TB external HDDs
4500sq ft dehumidifier
Electric stove and oven
Printer, scanner, copier
Modem
Router

Nevermind the countless PC components in the many years prior, audio equipment, all sorts of other crap that still works.

All from the comfort of home.

Edit: And as context for this has been zapped...uh...I say we turn this thread into a list of things we've bought online that still work as they should. Because that'd be a good time, wouldn't it?

(If anything, and not to come off defending some corporate entity, it's not a terrible move. Ive used in store products just to get an idea for the size of a thing before deciding to just order it or an equivalent online, if only for ease of getting it to the house sometimes.)
Yeah, wasn't expecting that other comment to stay here lol

I usually use reviews (sometimes video, sometimes not) to get an idea of what I'm thinking of buying. Bought laptops, monitors, and many other electronics online this way without much difference between online and in-person purchasing...
 

Rocky4040

Posts: 140   +172
I personally like to go into the store and pick it up and see it in person but in the city (they call it a city but more of a large town) I live in there is pratically nothing here. Yes we have a Walmart and a staples but they both are almost useless for what I need and it seems they like to push you towards online buying.

What I hate about online buying large stores like Newegg & Staples & Bestbuy & Walmart allow sellers outside of their own product lines to come in ans sell their wares. Yes this can be a good thing but it also opens the flood gates to get ripped off or scammed by fake products or way over priced products normally a few hundred more than the actual retail price should be. I expect this from the likes of Amazon because they built their whole business model from this way of doing things.

What I like about online buying You look up a product find what you want at a decent price and order it and it is normally here in a few days. If you are lucky you get the product you ordered and it is not smashed from the way the haulers handled it.

What I recently ordered

Ryzen 7 5800x, Asus ROG Strix B500-F WIFI board, 32GB 3600Mhz DDR4, 2 1TB NVMe drives, EVGA AIO 280mm Cooler, A Crikit cutter for the GF. There is also more smaller stuff all of which was ordered off of Amazon Canada.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 8,270   +7,636
Personally, I would never buy something like Home Theater/Stereo speakers without listening to them first.

Also, I am more likely to go to the local home theater shop and deal with the salesman that I have dealt with for something like 30-years before I go to Best Buy and talk to a "geek squad" member that is working there for the summer. I do not think it likely that BB would provide the same kind of personalized experience that my local home theater shop provides.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 8,270   +7,636
I personally like to go into the store and pick it up and see it in person but in the city (they call it a city but more of a large town) I live in there is pratically nothing here. Yes we have a Walmart and a staples but they both are almost useless for what I need and it seems they like to push you towards online buying.

What I hate about online buying large stores like Newegg & Staples & Bestbuy & Walmart
Try https://www.bhphotovideo.com/ IMO, its a much better experience than those you named. No BS and in many cases free expedited shipping that gets to you faster than the shipping that Amazon provides. They also sell computer components, too.
 

envirovore

Posts: 533   +982
TechSpot Elite
Yeah, wasn't expecting that other comment to stay here lol

I usually use reviews (sometimes video, sometimes not) to get an idea of what I'm thinking of buying. Bought laptops, monitors, and many other electronics online this way without much difference between online and in-person purchasing...

I knew it wasn't going to last either.

Oh, I certainly am sure to read and watch multiple reviews about a product before buying, especially something expensive or higher end.

But the point being made in that post...it's just dumb on multiple levels when things like generally being able to find legitimate reviews and returns/refund systems exist.

Brother ordered a nice 32" Acer monitor via best buy online, showed up with a pixel stuck bright green. He contacted them about it with a picture included and they replaced it quickly with non questions asked, just as they should do with an in-store purchase and return due to defect.

 

passwordistaco

Posts: 412   +951
"Most products in the store will be on display for shoppers to see, touch and try out. When it comes times to buy, customers can use their phone to scan a QR code on a product's price tag and send the order to the pickup counter. A Best Buy employee will then retrieve the item from the backroom and bring it to the register to complete the purchase."

Back in the 80s that was Service Merchandise.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 9,334   +8,533
Many others have tried and failed .... they will just be another in the long list of "used to be" ...