WATERLOO — When Waterloo’s Best Buy store first opened in 2001, the electronics store was not focused on smartphones.
Now, iPhones, Samsung Galaxy phones and their related accessories are the focal point for the retailer — and get a fresh, new emphasis thanks to the completion of a month-long remodel.
Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart, a “regular customer” to the store, according at Best Buy general manager Mark Brodhead, helped cut the ribbon for the new remodel prior to the store’s opening Wednesday morning.
“I’m in here like people go to the mall,” Hart said, joking that the store should expand even further into a “Best Buy Village.”
“Next week, you’ll probably have gray hairs after Black Friday like I have,” Hart told the 35 or so employees gathered for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Best Buy, at 2541 Crossroads Boulevard, has stayed open during the remodel, which included a signature-looking smartphone selection at the entrance, a larger appliance section with more models on the floor and a revamped Geek Squad area complete with tables and chairs.
“The store was built in 2001, and hadn’t had a good refresh since then,” Brodhead said.
New carpet, tile, fixtures and restrooms completed the look, which was achieved with the help of a regional project team during store closing hours and completed on a rushed timeline to be ready for next week’s Black Friday rush, Brodhead said.
“You guys can be proud of the work you put in,” he said Wednesday. “This definitely changes the customer experience and the employee experience.”