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Best Buy is testing a digital first, smaller store – londonbusinessblog.com

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Best Buy will open a new digital first 5,000-square-foot retail store in Monroe, North Carolina, on July 26. This store will have select tech products such as home theater and audio, computers, headphones, wearables, fitness, mobile phones, home, and small appliances for shoppers to experience and purchase.

This is different from the company’s large retail chains, which typically cover 35,000-40,000 square feet. The company says shoppers won’t be able to purchase large appliances from this store, but they can still place an order on the site and pick it up from the Monroe store. In addition, for regular-sized items, the company will place takeout lockers outside the store so shoppers can pick up online orders at any time.

Blue Shirt employees and Geek Squad techs will man the store for purchase advice. In addition, shoppers can virtually contact experts from the virtual store via voice calls, video calls or chat.

Demos are a critical part of this format, and the company said shoppers can try most products before purchasing. Like Apple Stores, shoppers can purchase items on the show floor. Just scan a QR code next to the item and the Best Buy staff will retrieve the item from the back room. Or if it’s a small item, like a charging cable, scan the QR code with the Best Buy app and grab the item from the shelf.

Best Buy said last year that he wanted to experiment with new store formulas and this digital first small store is part of that project. The company has experimented with small format stores in the past with its mobile stores, but it closed them in 2018. Located primarily in malls, these stores were even smaller in size with an average footprint of less than 2,000 square feet.

Amazon is also experimenting with brick and mortar stores by opening its first clothing store in Los Angeles in May. The company also introduced a new shopping cart earlier this month that: let customers skip the checkout.

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