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Merchandising: The Shelves, They Are A-Changin' at Best Buy

25 Apr, 2004 By: Brendan Howard

Best Buy store layouts change to seemingly capitalize on the synergy between products and, of course, the wild success of DVD. The past few weeks at a Costa Mesa, Calif., location are a perfect example.

What were once two solid banks of CD aisles have lost some of their real estate to children's/family DVD and a “Disney DVD” section. Music DVD takes up the rack on the other side of the new-CD-releases rack at the front of the store.

Computer games — previously placed across from computers — have been moved next to console games. There was once a time when computer gamers and console gamers were separate demographics. Is this yet another sign that that's changed?

Months ago, Toys “R” Us changed its warehouse-style layout by reorganizing sections and putting some at diagonal angles from each other. It seemed to eat up space for product, but opened up space for consumers to walk. Most important, it forced consumers to meander through different sections, rather than making a bee-line for a chosen product in the back of the store.

The Costa Mesa Best Buy has taken a page from that book. Picture the inner portion of a Best Buy store as a square broken up into four pieces. Cell phones and similar electronics are closest to the door, with CDs to their left. But as customers move between cell phones and CDs, they now find a diagonally positioned bank of computer games on their right that turns them to the left and into console games and, you guessed it, a whole lot of DVDs. The front of the DVD section is still populated by a new-releases store merchandiser and boxed sets (mostly TV DVD). To get to most of the new releases, you have to walk to the back of the DVD section.

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