Archive | 10:30 pm

It’s More Like Lame Buy

11 Aug

Saturday was day one of the tax-free shopping weekend, so I did what I assumed many other folks would do and headed out to Best Buy. And not just any Best Buy, but the brand spanking new one at the corner of Newbury St. and Mass Ave. I figured it’d be crowded when I got there around 12:30, and that I’d be one of many looking at the TVs, DVD players, CDs, DVDs, and other stuff (not that I needed anything, but it’s fun to look).

Well, the place was practically empty. But more depressing — at least for me — was the feeling that this was the worst Best Buy store ever. It’s partly because I knew what was there before, and I had fond memories (all things considered) of spending — alright, wasting — an hour or more listening to CDs on listening stations or watching movies in the DVD section, or browsing through magazines or books. Even when it was the overpriced Virgin Megastore, there still was plenty to do and entertain yourself with. The sterile blue carpets of Best Buy conveyed a whole different atmosphere, and on the demo TVs wasn’t any cool new whizz-bang DVD release, but Discovery Channel crap. And of course, Best Buy doesn’t do listening stations, so that option was out. And worst of all, the CD and DVD section — located all the way up and seemingly hidden at the back of the top floor — was so meager that the couple DVDs I might have bought weren’t even on sale (and wouldn’t be, I was told, because everything that was at the warehouse had been put out). Add to that a lot of space — empty, wasted space (particularly on the first floor) — and a ton of salespeople just standing around, and it really felt like a great crime had been committed against a beloved city landmark.

As a frequent music/movie buyer, I had hoped this new Best Buy would have been good for Newbury St. At the very least, it might have spurred some price competition with Newbury Comics. But given that the focus of the store is squarely on electronics (and stuff people can’t even walk out of the store with), it looks like that won’t be happening. And given that the store is so sterile and clean and, well, boring, I can’t see myself having any real incentive to hang out or spend money there anytime soon.