More than 300 shoppers turned out this morning (Saturday) for the grand reopening of the Best Buy store in Roseville.
The turnout was fueled by the consumer electronics retailer offering free gift bags to the first 300 customers through the doors with packs containing Best Buy gift cards. Most of the bags had $10 gift cards; but one lucky recipient had a $1,000 card.
In the process, Best Buy officials were able to show off their remodeled store whose features include wider, easier to navigate shopping aisles, lower shelving, a new Pacific Sales bath and kitchen center and a new help desk in the center of the store to provide free advice and help to "techno-stressed" customers.
Another feature is dedicated brand stations, such as Samsung, to show shoppers how various techie products are interconnected, said Paul Dardis, general manager of Best Buy's Roseville store.
Shoppers seemed to give the remodeled store a thumbs up.
"It's great," said Aaron Barnes, of St. Paul. "It's nice and open. "Even when there is a crowd, it is easy to get around."
Eric and Becky Hughbanks, of Roseville, agreed, saying the store makeover has made shopping easier to find merchandise. "I like it," Becky said.
Before Best Buy officials opened up the doors Saturday morning to shoppers, they held a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Roseville Mayor Dan Roe gave a brief speech, touting the remodel.
Also on hand were T.C. Bear, the Minnesota Twins mascot, and the Minnesota Vikings SKOL Drumline.
Best Buy's Roseville store upgrade is a part of its company-wide efforts to focus selling and make its consumer offerings more attractive to shoppers. That push comes in the wake of Best Buy's financial struggles as it faces increased pressure from other retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores and Minneapolis-based Target.
Earlier this spring, Best Buy announced plans to close 50 big-box stores as part of a restructuring to cut costs.