Best Buy Turns to Utah for First New U.S. Store in 7 Years
Best Buy has announced the impending opening of its first new U.S. store since 2011.
The upcoming site will be a 36,000-square-foot space within a new mixed-use lifestyle center called Station Park, as reported by the Star Tribune. Station Park is located in a suburb north of Salt Lake City, Utah, in an area where the nearest Best Buy stores are more than 15 miles away.
“We’re excited to be opening a brand-new store in a popular shopping center in a growing part of the Salt Lake City market,” Jeff Shelman, a Best Buy spokesman, told the newspaper.
The new store is opening amid the Richfield-based electronics chain’s plan to shutter all 250 of its remaining mobile phone stores in the country. Best Buy also closed 18 of its big-box stores in 2017, 11 of them in 2016 and 13 in 2015.
When the company last opened a new store seven years ago, seven stores were launched over the 12-month span. That’s a fraction of the pace of growth Best Buy experienced in the mid-to-late-2000s when it would launch as many as 100 stores a year.
Moreover, news of the upcoming store comes in the wake of Best Buy finding itself in two troubling situations. Late last week, it admitted that customers may have had their payment information hacked during a 2017 data breach that involved several other big companies, including Sears and Delta Air Lines. It was also revealed last week that Best Buy’s former CEO Brad Anderson had donated money to a right-wing and arguably anti-Muslim organization.
Best Buy as a whole, though, is on an upward swing. The company recently reported its best holiday quarter in 14 years, with same-store sales up 9 percent.
Meanwhile, its presence outside the U.S. is expanding as it has opened a handful of stores in Mexico and Canada throughout the past few years.
“Our stores are a vital component of our multichannel strategy and we believe they are an important competitive advantage,” Best Buy said in its most recent annual report. “In fiscal 2019 and beyond, we will continue to look for opportunities to optimize our store space, renegotiate leases and selectively open or close locations to support our operations, as evidenced by our recent announcement to close all of our remaining Best Buy Mobile stand-alone stores in the U.S.”
Best Buy spokesman Shelman declined to comment on whether Best buy has definitive plans for any other new stores.