BEST ELECTRONICS (PROLETARIAN) - 2000
The overripe neon interior of this warehouse warhorse bespeaks base consumerism at its most vulgar. Best Buy wants to corner the market on everything: not just TVs and VCRs and computers and phones and CDs and DVDs, but furniture, fridges, vacuum cleaners, and, um, books. All the better if you can duck in and out quickly, perhaps after scouring the Sunday Strib to find the store's best buys. Although a number of our favorite midrange toy manufacturers remain oddly MIA (e.g., Nakamichi, Mitsubishi, and Sony's XBR line of Wega monitors), Best Buy's stock is still plenty expansive enough to meet one's particular needs. For instance, $60 will get you either a ground-level VCR or a short pair of subwoofer cables. The wide range of prices and products also includes everything from a $150 DVD player with DTS sound to a Bose system with Dolby Digital and five speakers ($1,800). As the store's stiffest competition these days is from the Web, its trump card is in catering to the electronics obsessive who might suddenly require something very specific and a bit unusual: an eight- or ten-hour blank videotape, a strip of S-video Monster Cable, a car charger for a Qualcomm cell phone, or, perhaps, an NFL2K disc for the Sega Dreamcast. At the upper extreme, Best Buy also houses Sony's shockingly vivid FD Trinitron Wega HDTV set, which we strongly advise you not to look at unless you have the $6,499 required to take it home.