Best Buy has reopened the first of its three Puerto Rico stores, which have been closed since Hurricane Maria ravaged the island in September.
According to a company blog, the showroom, located in the Hato Rey section of San Juan, reopened with much fanfare last Friday, as customers and staff celebrated another step toward normalcy.
More than 100 shoppers lined up for the event, which included a ribbon cutting and grand-reopening gala.
“This gives us some sense of normalcy,” said Geek Squad Agent Alexis Fernandez. “When you get out, it’s not normal anymore. There’s too much traffic. The street lights aren’t working. You have no electricity. The hurricane’s not here anymore, but you can feel the effects. It’s hard.”
Indeed, Fernandez lost two cars and all of his family’s clothing and beds when three feet of water filled his home after Maria made landfall. But he and fellow employees were assisted by Best Buy, which provided food, money, supplies, evacuation options, and salaries for those who stayed as community volunteers.
Diana Bueno, the store’s general manager, concurred. The reopening, she said, gave her staff “hope that their lives can and will go back to normal. They wanted to come back and take care of their clients and customers. They’re super happy to come back.”
The Dec. 15 reopening still afforded customers two full weekends to complete their holiday shopping.
Best Buy’s stores in Bayamon and Carolina, P.R., however, remain closed.