By Connor Adams Sheets
Flushing residents looking to shop at a big-box electronics retailer no longer need to travel further than Sky View Parc after a brand-new Best Buy held its grand opening there Saturday.
The ubiquitous company bet on the growth potential of the Flushing area by installing the megastore during an economic downturn and the gamble appears to be paying off as customer service specialist Sarah Palermo said Tuesday morning that she has already been impressed with customer volume.
“It’s been decent. We’re kind of waiting for the stores around here to open up and word to spread, but we’ve had some pretty good traffic so far,” she said. “We’re excited to be open … and we’ve had some very good feedback from the customers so far.”
Flushing resident Michael Sanchez accompanied his mother Tuesday morning to the new Best Buy, where they purchased a paper shredder.
“We were down at BJ’s [Wholesale Club] and we saw that Best Buy was open, too,” he said as his mother made her purchase. “Before we used to have to travel to another Best Buy in Long Island City, so this will save us a lot of time.”
The store, at 131-07 40th Road, features a special musical instruments section not found in most Best Buy locations, complete with a wide selection of guitars, drums, keyboards and DJ equipment, and augmented by a demo room, opportunities for lessons and more.
“When people first came in, they didn’t even expect to see this music room,” Flushing Best Buy musical instrument specialist Matthew Moore said. “There’s a lot of musicians in this community, so we just want everyone to come in and play whatever they want.”
Best Buy has weathered the recession better than many rival companies, such as former competitor Circuit City, which liquidated last March.
The retailer has acted bearish since shortly after the economy bottomed out, and its revenue increased from $14.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009 to $16.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to corporate figures released last Thursday.
The company attributes the uptick to a comparable store sales gain of 7 percent, the addition of new stores and the favorable effects of fluctuating foreign currency exchange rates.
“The company delivered strong results in fiscal 2010 and we are very pleased with our performance, given the environment of the past 12 months,” Jim Muehlbauer, Best Buy’s executive vice president of finance and chief financial officer, said in a statement last Thursday.
Best Buy, after BJ’s, is the second store to open in Sky View Parc, a 14-acre, $1 billion mixed-use development project at the edge of downtown Flushing.
Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.