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Tech Gadget Stores' Flagships Are Going Downtown

By Sean Corbett in News on Nov 8, 2006 6:17PM

2006_11_Garmin.jpg2006_11_Best_Buy.gifBest Buy is looking into opening a flagship store in the heart of the downtown shopping area. has a write-up, including a handy map of many tech-gadgetry stores currently in the area. We are imagining ourselves cruising Michigan Avenue to check out the new and cool toys at the various flagship stores but probably not spending a bundle. At Chicagoist, when we buy tech, we know what we need and where to get it for cheap, and most often that place is the internet.

Even with the advent of cheap shopping on the net the retail giant averages $942 in revenue at its stores per square foot per year. We were a little surprised to hear that; those stores are huge, and that’s a ton of product to be moving, and think of all the space that’s taken up by aisles in a store at any given time!?! For comparison, the average Best Buy is also pulling twice as much per square foot as the average Michigan Avenue shop.

Other Best Buy projects that break out of the mold of the standard big box store are Escape (for wealthy 20-somethings in Lincoln Park) and the recently closed Studio D (a more comfortable, demystified, tech buying experience for women) in Naperville.

Garmin, providers of GPS navigation equipment, is opening its Intergalactic Retail Headquarters this Saturday in Chicago. It will be conveniently located at 663 N. Michigan Ave. (near the proposed Best Buy). For all the geo-cachers out there, they are giving away some kind of special geo-caching trinket (a geocoin) at 11:30 so be sure to pick yours up.