Friday, December 15, 2017
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Best Buy introduces "eq-life"
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A sales clerk, or Q, helps customers at Best Buy's new "concept" store, eq-life. (MPR Photo/Annie Baxter)
Electronics giant Best Buy is about to try out a new concept on Twin Cities shoppers. Next week, the company opens a new store in Richfield called eq-life, which focuses on health and wellness in combination with technology.

Richfield, Minn. — It's not the Best Buy you're used to. The new eq-life store is part electronics, part health store, part spa.

Computers and DVD players sit just an aisle away from herbal supplements and portable heart defibrillators. Throw in nurse consultations, Pilates classes, and a full-service salon and spa -- and you've got a very unusual formula.

Eq-life president Mike Marolt says the idea behind that formula is to provide a resource center for customers, and supply them with a wide array of products and services to address their health issues.

The store's technology offerings are geared toward this philosophy. They include such items as diabetes monitors, heart rate monitors, laptop computers and portable music players.

Another new approach is the sales staff, which are called Qs, who are there to "guide you to sound answers and options to meet your individual needs," according to the promotional materials.

Eq-life's marketing campaign encourages customers to "find equilibrium," and includes photos of three women balancing on a big rubber ball, while working or taking care of children. Some observers speculate this new concept store is designed to attract more female customers, and encourage them to shop at the company's traditional electronics stores.

Eq-life's Mike Marolt took MPR's Jeff Horwich on a tour of the first -- and only -- eq-life location. Listen to their interview by choosing the audio link in the right column.

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