Best Buy Opens Store With Virtual Employees

MONROE, N.C. – Best Buy has opened its first “small-format, digital-first” store in North Carolina at less than 15% the size of its typical retail space.

According to the retail giant, the Monroe, North Carolina, store is 5,000-square feet and tests a “digital-first shopping experience that encourages customers to do everything from shop, select your product and get advice digitally while in the store.” Best Buy stores are usually between 35,000 and 40,000 square feet.

The store will carry large TVs, but won’t carry major appliances or other large items. Customers can buy those online and pick them up at the store.

According to Best Buy, when shoppers enter the store, they’ll see a 7-foot-tall digital display that explains how to shop inside. Here’s how the new store differs from Best Buy’s traditional model:

When ready to make a purchase, customers can use their phone to scan the QR code on any product price tag and send the order to be picked up at the order pickup counter. From there, a Best Buy worker will pick it up in the back room and bring it to the register for you to pick up.
Mobile self-checkout: Customers will be able to use the Best Buy app, scan the barcode and use the mobile self-checkout option for smaller purchases.
Virtual help: The store will have employees, but customers will be able to “shop live” with a virtual expert by phone or video chat.
For less tech-savvy customers, they can still ask Best Buy “blue shirts” for help like they would in any other store.

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Source: Fox 5 NY

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