An interior remodel of the Kennewick Best Buy store included new bathrooms, flooring and layout of registers.
General Manager Mitch Davis called the nearly $500,000 project that took place over five weeks a “full facelift.”
Davis said most of the work was done after hours, but some work, including new exterior doors, was completed during business hours.
The Kennewick store now has updated flooring with carpet in the company’s signature shade of blue. There is a new “precinct” for employees who offer technical support, known as the “Geek Squad.” The remodeled area features consultation tables to meet with customers.
An expanded space for Best Buy’s mobile department is intended to make it more convenient to review available phones, as well as menu boards with the latest offers about plans from various mobile phone carriers.
Restrooms located at the front of the store were gutted and rebuilt, and are now considered more family friendly, Davis said. Previously, the men’s room included one stall.
Remodeled checkout stations replace the staggered registers that Davis said some customers found confusing.
Some customers may bypass the traditional checkout by ordering ahead of time online and picking up at the store in person.
“We now have a dedicated window for in-store pickup so customers that buy online don’t have to stand in line with customer service or other customers,” Davis said. “They can come right up and we’ll have somebody there. Every month we do more and more in-store pickups. It’s a very convenient way for people to shop.”
While online shopping has changed some consumers’ buying habits, Davis said Best Buy still supports those who prefer to buy DVDs or CDs, as opposed to downloading or streaming their personal entertainment.
“Our media area did get a little bit smaller, which is natural. But we like to have a dedicated movie section for those die-hards, and you will see them typically on Fridays when the new releases come out,” Davis said.
The store has expanded its interior real estate dedicated to major appliances.
In July, the marketing and analysis company J.D. Power ranked Best Buy “best in customer satisfaction” among appliance retailers for a third straight year. Paired with the loss of Sears as a competitor in the appliance market, Best Buy is looking to capitalize on its share of the industry.
Appliances are located near an expansive selection of smart home devices, including popular smart doorbells.
As the Kennewick store’s general manager for 11 years, Davis said he personally has nearly 100 smart devices connected by Wi-Fi at his home, including irrigation, lights and garage doors.
Overall, the Kennewick store may appear larger since some partial walls were removed to open up the space.
The store at 6705 W. Canal Drive remained open during the entire remodel and is open daily in the shopping center alongside Office Depot and Michaels, where it has been for 20 years.
Davis said it was the first Best Buy in the Northwest, at a time there were only 200 to 300 Best Buy stores across the country, compared to more than 1,000 that represent the Minnesota-based company today.
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