These days, those shopping dollars don't seem to go very far. Prices for everything just keep going up and earnings aren't keeping pace. For hard-pressed consumers, getting the most bang for their buck isn't just a good idea, it's a necessity. That can mean everything from watching newspaper ads for great sales to buying some essential food items in bulk.
When it comes to spending those ever-shrinking discretion-ary dollars, consumers need to do plenty of homework and compar-
ison shopping to ensure they're making the best buy possible. Now there's another place where folks can do just that: the new Best Buy at the Crossroads shopping center in Riverbank. The grand opening is Saturday.
Located next to the Save Mart Supermarket in the center at Oakdale and Claribel roads, just northeast of Modesto, the national electronics retailer's second Modesto-area outlet occupies 30,000 square feet. Smaller than the Sisk Road store, which is 45,000 square feet, the Riverbank outlet will offer all the same electronics and services found at its larger sibling, said Dan Nerat, the Riverbank store's general manager.
Because the store is smaller, Nerat said it's designed to allow customers to move easily from one department to the next -- whether it's handling computer information or the movement of shoppers, it's all about flow. He said the store features the latest in fixtures, including carpeting. It's part of an effort to make people feel right at home, especially when they're deciding what to take home.
Although the new store won't have room for Best Buy's Magnolia Home Theater center, it carries all the same gear. The Crossroads outlet also features a Best Buy Mobile area with more than 90 different handsets, particularly smart phones. A Geek Squad contingent, as well as home theater and car audio installation crews, can be found there, too.
As always, the real attraction for most consumers when it comes to Best Buy is the gadgets and associated gear. Not to worry, assures Nerat, his Riverbank store has it all: iPods and accessories, laptops and desktops, DVD players and recorders, digital cameras and camcorders, video games and consoles, music CDs and televisions -- and much, much more.
Nerat said the store, which employs about 85, has everything consumer electronics fans could want. With so many choices, finding the right item at the right price isn't just a good buy, it's the Best Buy -- and the best way to avoid buyer's remorse. Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday,
11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 863-8380.
UPDATE SPECIAL: After closing for a few weeks, Compass Maps appears to be open for business again.
The Modesto-based mapmaker shut its doors temporarily two months ago, and briefly posted a sign at its Kansas Avenue office that said "Business is Closed."
After inquiries from The Bee, the sign was changed to "Closed for Inventory" in late March. A company official said at the time that Compass was allowing customers to pick up pre-existing orders.
At that office this week, a large sign boasted that Compass was open. A representative from Compass did not return calls Tuesday seeking comment.
Compass Maps was started in Modesto in 1962 by Richard Elke and his wife, Shirley. It became one of California's leading independent mapmakers, selling paper maps of states, counties and cities across much of the West Coast.
As recently as 2006, it reportedly employed 30. In recent years, changing technology affected demand for paper maps, with global positioning systems and online options, such as Mapquest, gaining in popularity.
-- Ben van der Meer,
Bee staff writer
Elsewhere on the Business Beat:
What is it: Extreme PC & Network Solutions at 2101 Geer Road, Suite 115, in Turlock. It's in Turlock Professional Plaza. Phone, 669-0767.
What it does: Extreme PC & Network Solutions offers computer services such as repair, upgrades, data recovery and backup, virus removal, wireless networking and DSI/cable installations and builds custom computers. It also installs surveillance equipment, surround sound systems and plasma TVs. Video services for weddings or corporate occasions are available.
Who runs it: Ator Nisan is a first-time business owner. Extreme PC & Network Solutions opened April 4. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, and Sunday by appointment only.
What makes it special: Extreme PC & Network Solutions will travel to customers' homes or offices if they are unable to make it to the store. After-hours service is also available.
Compiled by Jillian Hanks,
Bee Newsroom Assistant