Monday, January 21, 2013


Best Buy.

What a difference a week makes: drove back to the tooth shop on Sunday for a check-up. So I betook myself back to Eagan, back to the dentist’s office that’s open seven days a week, and presented my mug for inspection. It is healing well. Having a few hours to kill and many commercial opportunities between Pilot Knob Road - really - and home, I stopped first at Best Buy.

My wife said she needed a laptop so she could work at home in the evening without bringing the office laptop The clerk asked if he could help, and I said I was looking for a cheap virus-magnet laptop loaded with crapware. He asked me to repeat myself. He said the offerings on the showroom floor were scant, but I might try the website. He also said something interesting:

I don’t use a computer myself.

And this from a young fellow. Why so? Because he used his phone for everything except games, and for that he had an Xbox. The idea of a computer was . . . (shrug) whatever. I wandered around the store, looking at things I neither wanted or needed. This was the Best Buy flagship, the best store in the chain: it’s close to the corporate mothership, and they experiment here, put on their best face. I walked out thinking:

They really are doomed.

I don’t know why I thought that; I’ve always enjoyed the store. It always felt like a going concern. But they sell cameras. Laptops. Where once they had rows of media, now there’s little, because physical media is going away. Where once they had games they don’t have games, because - well, see above.

I’m going to miss shopping and looking and touching, I really am. I hope my daughter remembers running up and down the aisles, looking at movies and Nintendo games and marveling at the volume of things to see and hear and play. You never get that sense from internet shopping. On the internet everything is presented individually, a page at a time, like a clerk is bringing out a shoe for Madame to consider.
Best Buy has really lost it. It used to have rows and rows of videos and CDs, and now there is a small section in the corner.  Apparently, they are repositioning themselves as a seller of washing machines. The Fresno Best Buy subdivided and gave up a large chunk of rental space lst year.

They really are doomed.

I'm going to miss browsing.

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