Best Buy brings more high-tech to market

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Business Today

Best Buy is Cape Girardeau's newest place to buy high-tech stuff like DVD players, TiVo, home theaters, satellite radios, MP3 players and more.

"I think people will be impressed," said Steve Maxcy, 50, the store's general manager, who has worked for Best Buy in St. Louis for a year and had been the manager for Kmart in Sikeston.

Best Buy, the country's largest consumer electronics chain, opened Sept. 27 at 3026 William St. Before its opening, the nearest Best Buy location had been Carbondale, Ill.

The 30,000-square-foot Cape Girardeau store features Best Buy's latest interior design - set up in a circular manner - with wider aisles and demonstration areas to try DVDs, CDs, computer software and video games.

"You won't find any 'please don't touch' signs in here," Maxcy said.

Best Buy has hired 117 people to work at the store, including four assistant managers and 12 supervisors. Ninety percent of those are local hires, Maxcy said, and all of them have gone through three to six weeks of training to become knowledgeable about the merchandise.

The store is one of the company's new small-market operations being tested in towns with populations under 125,000. The store is about 15,000 fewer square feet than big-market stores.

Maxcy said that the local store has everything a larger Best Buy would have, but they just have smaller quantities.

Unlike many stores, Best Buy's salespeople do not work on commission and instead draw a salary.

Maxcy said the chain has done a demographic study that shows the Cape Girardeau area is a good market.

Based in Minnesota, Best Buy was founded in 1966. The company has more than 500 stores.

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