Friday, March 26, 2010

Best Buy does the Independence shuffle

You can soon add Best Buy to the list of retailers that have moved farther out on Independence Boulevard - away from downtown and into Matthews, leaving behind a potentially empty box at an older shopping center. 

The electronics store currently at Independence Square, 7421 E. Independence Blvd. in Charlotte (pictured at right), is slated to relocate to the former Circuit City at Sycamore Commons, 2185 Matthews Township Parkway at Independence Boulevard in Matthews, where a grand opening is scheduled for April 23. It will be the second time this year Best Buy will be pulling up stakes for a space last occupied by its erstwhile rival: The Best Buy at University Place moved to the former Circuit City at Concord Mills a couple of months ago. 

The Sycamore Commons space is roughly four miles away and newer than the Independence store, which according to property records was built in 1987. And it's also situated in a shopping center full of familiar big-box brethren, including Michaels, Dick's Sporting Goods, Bed Bath & Beyond and Old Navy. In fact, Circuit City itself had relocated there from a stretch of Independence near the existing Best Buy.

The loss will likely be a blow for Independence Square, one of many shopping centers along closer-in stretches of Independence Boulevard stung by the departure of big-name tenants. The shopping center is owned by Kimco Realty, which has not yet responded to a request for more information; the Best Buy building appears to be owned separately, by a lawyer in West Virginia. Over the years the center has also lost Michaels and CVS, and the Bi-Lo there closed a little more than a year ago. As those tenants left, more discount-oriented stores have moved in, leaving Best Buy in less familiar company. In that context and given the history of big boxes on Independence, every time I drove by the Best Buy, I got the feeling its days were numbered. Sure enough, they now are. International grocery store Super Global Market, or Super G, is filling the Bi-Lo vacancy. 

The Best Buy space opened as a branch of the now-defunct Lechmere electronics chain and later housed a SportsTown store. Best Buy opened there in 1994 and, like the University store, was one of the chain's first locations in the Carolinas, according to Observer archives. 

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sad but true. As a Charlotte native, I know this part of town intimately. It used to be a very nice part of town until the influx of immigrants and gangs came in and killed the east side of town. I also moved out of the east side of Charlotte because of the crime and the fact that there is almost no retail or decent grocery stores. I miss Eastland Mall, and I miss the east side of town, the way it used to be before it became another Mexico City.

Anonymous said...

wow, racist and socio-economic bigotry all in the same post!

svt said...

The reason why it's simply moving is location. That place was a terrible location for Best Buy. Traffic is unbearable. Getting in and out of the place is horrible. No foot traffic from other stores and shop.

The new building offers all the above.

Anonymous said...

"wow, racist and socio-economic bigotry all in the same post!"



I agree. But 4:27's posts is 100% true, and EVERYONE knows it, whether they will admit it or not is a different story. We miss Eastland mall too, but ask yourself why it is extinct?

Not complaining all that much..really have no reason to be there anymore.

Anonymous said...

Ah, i used to work across the street from that Best Buy. The "hood" has changed. I wouldn't be surprised if the Ruby Tuesday there closes and becomes another Chinese buffet.

sad but true...

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't used the words 4:27 used, but the facts behind the comment are correct, as is the point svt made about traffic and getting in and out of there. I'm an east Charlotte native and lived in apartments off Village Lake Drive right there ten years ago. My how things have changed since I left. East Charlotte is moving further northeast (Concord), east (Matthews/Indian Trail/West Monroe), and southeast. The indecision local and state leaders have about Independence Blvd. isn't helping matters. Eastland's going to be demolished eventually. I'm not sure how East Charlotte recovers as a nice, safe, thriving area.

Wayne said...

Will the new location offer the same crappy service that the current location is determined to offer?

Anonymous said...

Eventually, all of the big box, small box, and car dealerships between I-277 and I-485 will be gone along Independence. It's part of the master plan to widen the road. Commercial development simply cannot be sustained along the route without good access roads. Look at what happened to Independence between Briar Creek and Sharon Amity. There's precious little viable commercial left in that corridor.

As for Eastland Mall - blame THAT on the media for blowing things out of proportion. Southpark Mall is no safer, but you'll never hear that in the news because they don't want to scare folks into not coming from hundreds of miles away to shop there.

Anonymous said...

Best Buy's current location opened as a Lechmere I believe. Somebody correct me if I am wrong. It was only a matter of time that they moved farther down Independence though.

Anonymous said...

The traffic there is terrible. I predict the K&W across the street will soon decamp as well.

And people complain about turning Independence into an expressway all the way to the new I73/74 in Rockingham. Why?

Anonymous said...

4:27's post is correct. Additionally, I never cared for the Independence Square location for Best Buy. I just wish they hadn't moved out of the University City location.

Gary said...

As a resident of Stallings, and someone who misses Circuit City, I'm glad to see the store moving. Since Charlotte only has one electronics/computer store of any size now, Best Buy, it's nice not to have to drive down to Monroe or to the old sight on Independence. Sycamore Commons is a great outdoor place to walk in the summer and having Best Buy there to check out will be great.

Anonymous said...

Aren't all business decisions based on socio-economic bigotry?

Shouldn't a retailer position itself in a location surrounded by its target demographic (aka high-middle earners) that will give it a better chance of success?

Best Buy is saying that it doesn't want the mid-Independence (lower income) demographic any longer. It's better off with a store uptown and one closer to 485.

Anonymous said...

When Independence Blvd. was converted into a "freeway", that was the begining of the end for the Eastside of CLT. Where the Kmart shopping center was, it was one of the prime real estate properties in the city back then. Now, it's just wasted land that is land locked by the POORLY planned freeway. Even the bus lane is a waste of asphalt...If they had added some ramps to get on and off the freeway the eastside may still be a vibrant place like it ONCE WAS.

Anonymous said...

Soon all the stores will move so far out on Independence that folks in Charlotte will have to drive to Wadesboro or Rockingham to find a store. Charlotte will be one great big Krispy Kreme yeast doughnut.

Anonymous said...

Traffic wouldn't be as bad there if NCDOT would just widen the bridge at McAlpine Creek. Right now that causes a bottle neck on 74 between BestBuy and CarMax.

Anonymous said...

Hey Best Buy is over priced anyway. when they charge 90.00 for a HDMI cable that cost 5 bucks online. Or pushing computer Aniti Virus software when it's free from Microsoft. I know blame it on the people who buy this stuff and dont know any better. Hey I shop there only when I have too. Or by chance a sale is better than the internet.