Sunday, August 06, 2006

Best Buy to open store on the South Side...

I got this from a paper you're not likely to read. It's a community paper and unfortunately they don't have a website or a link. So they're making me work here. Anyway this piece of news in from the neighborhood weekly newspaper The Chatham-Southeast Citizen.

A new Best Buy is going to be located at this shopping center on 87th and the Dan Ryan. There's already alot of commerce there with Seaway National Bank, Bally's, Cub Foods, Game Stop, movie theaters, Home Depot, Harold's Chicken Shack, Jewel/Osco, and Burlington Coat Factory to name a few. Believe it or not there's also a Starbuck's coffee among the shopping choice making me wonder if this faily middle-class area is being marked for gentrification.

All the same just like establishments such as Wal-Mart, Target, Starbuck's, and even Best Buy are always out looking for new markets. Especially in areas where there isn't an establishment. All the same this is an interesting development.

It is to be located at a former Toys R Us which closed this store their after the Christmas holidays. The article even advertised a Best Buy job fair to take place at the Third Baptist Church on 95th and Ashland on August 21st. They are looking for full-time, part-time, and even seasonal help. Just to let you folks out there looking for work now especially if you're not able to get your hands on this newspaper. ;)

Anyway looking at this article Best Buy is already attempting to be good corporate citizens by donating $100,000 to a local youth based non-profit. Criteria for such an award is located at the Best Buy website. Of coures this is to be done by the time of the store's grand opening on October 27th. According to the store manager Bea Louie this is not only done at a grand opening but the money is usually donated to United Way but Best Buy wanted to do something different for the 800th store and the first to be located in a black neighborhood.

Now let me touch on that last thing "first to be located in a black neighborhood". I kind of wondered about that. Why should that be significant? Of course that's not to say that electronics stores hasn't found a home in this particular area. Fretter, Highland, and even Silo have opened stores on 87th Street although those stores have long since been closed. Of course it was stated in the article why a Best Buy hasn't opened a store in a black neighborhood the store manager Louie said quote...
It wasn't that they didn't want to venture out in the urban community because they are afraid to, they just didn't know how,

Of course it was all noted that it was about having the right people in the right place and to reach out to the community as they apparently have done. Here's another interesting tidbit, the Toys R Us store that closed had generated $12 million but Best Buy projects about $40 million in sales.

Here's another good plan. They want to set the standard for the shopping center they are located. That site does seem to be located in what amounts to be an isolated area even though it is located in an active strip mall byt they do was to remove overgrown brush, new landscaping, and fencing. They also want to re-stripe the parking lot and hire a maintenance service to clean outside debris.

This looks like a winner. Ald. Howard Brookins of the 21st ward (where this new store is to be located) who almost got a Wal-Mart store a few years ago is happy about this development. Here's his quote...
It is great that they are a community conscious company willing to donate their time, talent, and money in the African American community...


Oh yeah I just want to add that apparently a Staples and a Bank of America is headed that way too.

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