Contacts: John Zittrauer, Store Manager of Best Buy Mobile, NYC
Two days before a new concept store, Best Buy Mobile, opened, manager John Zittrauer wasn’t sure he’d even have a sales floor. “The place was excavated, seriously, it was dirt!” he remembers of that moment just four weeks ago when the Best Buy Company stealthily prepared to open nine new phone outlets in Manhattan. Zittrauer’s store, on a southern corner of Union Square, was set to go head to head with so many other carrier and big retail outlets that he joked Union Square West was about to be renamed “Cell Phone Avenue.”
To his surprise, there were clean and shiny floor, counters, a couple of kiosks, six registers and an accessories wall all in place by opening day. Offering deals like instant rebates and exclusive access to the red Razr by Motorola, Zittrauer says his small phone-only branch has seen terrific foot-traffic already. “I love the freedom of keeping track of only 20 people selling one item,” says Zittrauer, who used to work in a standard Best Buy managing a number of different departments.
He keeps the place open 9 am- 10 pm (‘til 11 pm on weekends) because, he says, “this area stays awake.” Business has been so active in the short lifespan of the branch that he’s installing four more registers for service plan activations. “I have guys who can get ‘em done in 10 minutes,” boasts Zittraurer. “No horror stories here about having to take a number like at carrier stores.”