Best Buy Opens First 24-Hour Store

Discussion
Oct 20, 2009
Tom Ryan

By Tom Ryan

Best Buy announced plans to open its first 24-hour
store in New York City. The 48,000-square-foot location in Union Square at
the corner of 14th Street and Fourth Avenue replaces a closed Circuit City
store.

The store will be open from 8 a.m. Monday through
midnight Saturday. On Sundays it will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

In a statement, Best Buy said the expanded hours
provides a “much-needed resource for the downtown Manhattan community,” including
students from nearby universities such as NYU and many New Yorkers whose schedules
conflict with the retailer’s traditional store hours.

"Today’s consumers have hectic lifestyles that
don’t always conform to traditional retail hours," said Brian Dunn, CEO, Best
Buy. "New York has long been known as the city that never sleeps, making Manhattan
the perfect location for our first 24-hour store."

The 24-hour locations will include Geek Squad
services and in-store pick-up of items purchased via online or phone channels.
Local customers will have the option of same-day delivery for products purchased
at any hour of the day. The Union Square location also will be home to Best
Buy’s largest musical instruments department in the U.S.

Best Buy will have plenty of company being open
late at night in Manhattan. There are currently two 24-hour drug stores (Walgreens
and Duane Reade) nearby, and several grocers (Food Emporium, Trader Joe’s and
Whole Foods) in the area have extended hours.

In the boroughs of New York City, Best Buy operates five other stores in Manhattan,
two each in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx, and one in Staten Island.

Discussion
Questions: What do you think of a 24-hour consumer electronics store?
What’s the likelihood of extended hours and 24-hour stores will become
increasingly common over the next several years?

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17 Comments on "Best Buy Opens First 24-Hour Store"


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Doron Levy
Guest
Doron Levy
11 years 6 months ago

It’s all about the location. Yeah, the need for a 24 hour store in NYC is obvious. Best Buy can probably execute well in this area and I would love to see the coverage during the graveyard shift.

I find that when working with 24 hour locations, loss prevention issues are more prevalent. And what about economic considerations? How many plasma screens and laptops will they sell at 3am? I suspect there is probably foot traffic in that area 24 hours a day, so I think the pros outweigh the cons but a strict plan needs to be in place during that time of the night.

Max Goldberg
Guest
11 years 6 months ago

Why not? As the article says, Best Buy joins a number of other nearby stores in offering 24 hour service to consumers. It just makes sense, particularly as we head into the holiday shopping season. I would expect to see Best Buy expand this to additional markets.

Len Lewis
Guest
Len Lewis
11 years 6 months ago

It’s a perfect location for a 24-hour store. It has a huge density of population and a young demographic, many of whom are New York University students who live in dorms and apartments that surround the Union Square area.

Suggestion to Best Buy: increase your loss prevention budget for this location. The shrink can kill you.

Bill Bittner
Guest
Bill Bittner
11 years 6 months ago

For our Midwest readers, it always amazes me when you walk through that area of Manhattan at 3:00 AM and there are pick-up basketball games going on. NYC is truly the city that never sleeps and picking up your new gadget after a round of Horse makes all the sense in the world.

Roger Saunders
Guest
11 years 6 months ago

In order to cost-effectively make a 24 hour operation work, the Store Operations teams have to have responsibilities that they can fulfill during downtime from working with customers (restocking, repair, allocation shifts, etc.). Best Buy is plugging the 24-hour test store in the right spot, as lower Manhattan has traffic and other stores using the strategy.

Always great to get more out of a retail box–added hours is one of them. But, 24 hours can burn out an operations/management team, so retailers have to do this on a select basis.

Mel Kleiman
Guest
11 years 6 months ago

If you have a 24 hour market, you open a 24 hours store. Extend the hours and only two costs go up: labor and utilities. The worst thing that can happen is not getting enough business to cover these two items so you cut back the hours. Best thing that happen is you serve the customer and increase market share.

W. Frank Dell II
Guest
11 years 6 months ago

24 hours works for some retailers, but not all. Convenience stores make good use of being open 24 hours, but many supermarkets only lose money when they extend their hours. Best Buy is likely right with 24 hours in New York City as it is the city that never sleeps. It all comes back to the key elements in retail: location and competition.

Mark Burr
Guest
11 years 6 months ago

I’d think that outside of places like NYC, this makes little sense. I can certainly see earlier hours, but 24 hours? Nah.

Locally here, they open at 10:00 AM. It would seem to me that rather then get excited about 24 hours in NYC, they might consider opening at 7:00 AM or 8:00 AM on Saturday. Retailers such as Best Buy are losing customers in those markets because they are not open when their customers are available. It may be great for those in NYC–good for them!

Consumers in the rest of the country might prefer a small improvement in opening earlier and aren’t quite as interested in 24 hours.

Anne Bieler
Guest
Anne Bieler
11 years 6 months ago

Best Buy may be making a smart move here with the right location and operations decisions. In a 24 store, many of the shoppers will be dropping in to browse–not a bad thing with high-ticket items.

If the store set up encourages people to try and compare, with materials, interactive kiosks, and helpful staff, the path to future purchase is clear. The selection of small electronics, peripherals, and consumables will also be a draw for the 24 hour crowd. Good possibilities if executed well.

Doug Fleener
Guest
11 years 6 months ago

While I doubt we’ll see a 24-hour consumer electronics store become common across the country, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it roll out to more major metropolitan areas. There is a market segment who are night owls and they’re also major purchasers of games, music, and software. I like it.

Gene Hoffman
Guest
Gene Hoffman
11 years 6 months ago

When you’re operating in the “city that never sleeps” why not stay open 24 hours? In other places, this is a “no go.”

Gene Detroyer
Guest
11 years 6 months ago

This move isn’t a test. It is simply smart retailing. This store is surrounded by NYU dorms housing thousands of students, who like most students, operate on a completely different clock than the normal population. This neighborhood is more alive at 3am than it is at 11am. Several of the other retailers mentioned in the article actually are on the street level of dorm buildings.

Carol Spieckerman
Guest
11 years 6 months ago

24-hour stores in the city that never sleeps? What could possibly be wrong with that? Best Buy may not sell giant plasmas at 3 am (then again, after a few beers, that clean, crisp football game might feel like a right, not a privilege); however, it’s a no-lose regardless, since cables, connectors, mounts and other accessories are where the margin is.

Best Buy has been all about empowering individual stores to make choices that are relevant to each community. I can see it now…a display of chargers, cables, jump drives, mini-printers and other business necessities front and center in a Manhattan location with a “forget something?” sign on top. You wouldn’t be able to get rid of me!

Ralph Jacobson
Guest
11 years 6 months ago

Everyone here seems to agree that this makes sense, and it does. Location is, of course, key, however NYC is not the only place for this. Just like food stores, personal electronics stores have become integral to our lives. Apple has made this work. What about any location with a large university? Or even a major hospital for gifts? I remember seeing a Kinkos at 2am in Boston right by MIT that was buzzing. This is something that could be expanded to a number of other markets.

Sometimes retailers think that they simply spread out their existing business if they expand hours of operation. This is not the case here, where a new segment or maybe lots of additional segments have opportunities to shop, when there may not have been a substitute in the past.

Eliott Olson
Guest
Eliott Olson
11 years 6 months ago

While late night is great for a casual date I prefer breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Arthur Rosenberg
Guest
Arthur Rosenberg
11 years 6 months ago

This is certainly an appropriate move for select areas of the country where it can be expected that people will shop at all hours. Then again I know of many Walmarts, situated throughout the country, that are fairly avidly shopped between midnight and dawn.

Lee Peterson
Guest
11 years 6 months ago

Given the need to cut back on expenses, I would think that the opposite trend will start to pop up–limited hours. Along with crazy retail proliferation came the term ‘extended hours’, which may just recede back into the woodwork with over-expansion, especially in less-than-A locations.

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