Best Buy to relaunch Richfield store

Black Friday line
Shoppers lined up around the outside of the Best Buy store in Baxter, Minn., at 11 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011. The store opened it's doors at Midnight this year instead of early Friday morning. Some of the shoppers had camped outside the stor for days waiting for bargains.
AP Photo/Brainerd Dispatch, Steve Kohls

Best Buy celebrates the grand re-opening of its remodeled Richfield store this weekend.

The store's size was reduced by 20 percent. Shelf heights are lower. Less merchandise is stored on the sales floor and skylights provide natural light. If it succeeds, the Richfield store could be a model for many of Best Buy's other outlets.

"Consumers' perceptions are that although the store is smaller, it actually feels bigger because of the open environment and the lighting," said Josh Will, who has been working on the new store format. "The natural lighting creates an openness. It also allow customers to naturally find where they want to go but also explore a little bit.

There is more space for kitchen appliances, customer service and mobile phones and computing; less for CDs and DVDs. Best Buy has closed 50 of its big-box stores and it is expected the retailer will close or shrink more stores.

This is our first store with this full prototype," Will said. "By reducing the footprint and getting it properly sized for the technology that we're trying to sell, it'll allow us to really focus on what is unique to Best Buy and needed for our customers, which is technology and technology accessories and services."