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Best Buy opens in Manteca
Friends Oscar Samano, front, and Ramon Perez laugh while trying out the Guitar Hero World Tour on a Wii at the Manteca Best Buy that opened Friday. - photo by HIME ROMERO
Aja Smith wasn’t planning on being the first person in line for the grand opening of the Manteca Best Buy on Friday.

But the Manteca resident had a need to visit the brand new electronics super store.

“I had to pick up a hard disk information back-up (software) for my computer,” Smith said.

A self-proclaimed child of the 1980s, she was accustomed to standing in long lines for concert tickets, and made plans to get to Best Buy, knowing that other morning shoppers might be eagerly waiting.

Arriving at about 8 a.m. at The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley shopping center, Smith was surprised to see but a few cars in the parking lot with absolutely no one standing in line in front of the 30,000-square-foot store.

Only the first 50 guests received the $20 off discount coupons.

“I thought I might be the 30th person before I arrived here,” Smith said.

Noticing one other shopper sitting his car, she seized the opportunity of becoming the very first customer by darting out of her car and dashing to the front door.

Others would soon follow.

At 10 o’clock, Best Buy in Manteca officially opened, with Smith along with nearly 100 guests drawing applauses from employees coupled with the district managers including those from the eight other Central Valley stores.

Marcel Fehlmann is the general manager for this brand new store consisting of about 64 employees.

“I’ve been involved in other (Best Buy) grand opening but this is my first as a GM,” he said.

Fehlmann has been with company for 12 years, spending the past five in the top position. He also worked at the Best Buy stores in Dublin, Tracy, Pinole, Emeryville and West Los Angeles.

A Fortune 100 company, Best Buy is considered the largest electronics outlet in U.S., and has expanded to over 1,170 stores since being established in the late 1960s.

What separates Best Buy from the competition?

“It’s our personnel,” Fehlmann said. “We have people who really understand today’s ever-changing technology.”

Customer service includes television and video equipment; audio; car accessories and the latest in GPS; computers; cell phones and office equipment; home appliances; music CDs and down loads; and game systems such as the Wii, Xbox, and PlayStation.

Ramon Perez and Oscar Samano had a chance to sample the demo game of Guitar Hero World Tour.

They also expressed their appreciation for Best Buy, in particular, for allowing shoppers to sample the goods before buying.

In this case, Perez and Samano “played” to the music on the Guitar Hero World Tour game featuring the drums / percussion and guitar-shaped controllers.

Fehlmann, meanwhile, indicated that the Manteca Best Buy will continue to celebrate its grand opening throughout the weekend.