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Best Buy Opens 24-Hr. NYC Union Sq. Store

11/23/2009 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Best Buy opened its first 24-hour store in the U.S., a 48,000-square-foot two-story location on Union Square at the corner of East 14th Street and 4th Avenue earlier this month.

The store celebrated the grand opening by presenting $5,000 checks to two local non-profit organizations: Union Square Partnership, which will fund a new project in the area, and Safe Horizons.

As Phil Chacra, district manager of Best Buy, said, the 24-hour format matches the city it serves. “This is the 'city that doesn't sleep,' so if you can't sleep, you can shop here.”

Chacra and Mike Vitelli, executive VP of the customer operating group, both noted that this is the sixth Manhattan Best Buy store, with a total of 10 in the five boroughs of New York City.

Chacra, in comments to Best Buy associates, and assorted corporate executives, consultants and media, noted that two more stores are set to open in Flushing, Queens, and on East 116th Street in Manhattan soon, and that “as we speak, another store is opening across the river in Jersey City, N.J.”

All Best Buy locations have names, and execs at the opening call this one, “The Show.” It is aptly named since it is the chain's largest Manhattan-area store and features a stage in its new musical instruments area, called live@Best Buy (www.liveatbestbuy.com).

The stage will feature local artists and is the first Best Buy with a musical instruments department in Manhattan.

While the location does have musical instruments, will offer same-day delivery, and has Wi-Fi in the store for customers' devices, it does not have a major appliance department. It does have a small appliance area.

The store is on the site of a former Circuit City location that closed earlier this year, and which Best Buy had “coveted for some time,” CEO Brian Dunn told TWICE in September. The store is larger since Best Buy opened up the back of the second floor, which was previously a warehouse area, according to Amy Adoniz, general manager of the Union Square store.

And as with many store openings for any independent or chain, this one had its own adventure: 12 hours before opening, a pipe burst in the ceiling on the second floor and there were 3 inches of water on parts of the sales area. Adoniz credited the hard work of store personnel and Best Buy associates from other New York locations for making sure there was no sign of water or water damage anywhere in the store.

Opening-day activities included a CD-signing with Grammy Award-winning band Bon Jovi, which promoted its latest album, “The Circle.” The first 500 fans to purchase the CD from select Best Buy stores in Noho, Chelsea or Midtown Manhattan received a wristband, which granted access to the Union Square CD signing.

Among other opening week music acts at the store were: Lamb of God; Peter Erskine and Friends; Anthrax; and Wyclef Jean.

The Union Square store is diagonally across the street from a Best Buy Mobile location, and about a block west of a P.C. Richard & Son store.

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