Best Buy is putting the final touches on its new store in Waxahachie in preparation for its grand opening at 6 p.m. Thursday.

“Whenever Best Buy opens a new store in a community, they donate $10,000 to a local charity. The group that we have chosen to donate is Waxahachie’s YMCA. They can use the money for any type of need that they have,” general manager Ken Macomber said.

“When Best Buy looked at locating a store here they really looked at the acquisition of customers and looking for the ability to grow our trade area. Right now, Cedar Hill is the closest store for this area and not a lot of people have the opportunity to shop at places like Best Buy,” he said. “We are looking forward to taking care of customers and giving them that opportunity.”

The 30,000 square foot store opens briefly from 6-9 p.m. Wednesday to its reward zone club members. The program is free to customers and offers points per every dollar spent. Once you reach a certain level of points you get a reward certificate that is good on products featured in the store or online. Residents who are not members will have the opportunity to sign up during the grand opening.

The new store is also the first one to gain the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design certification developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. This certification is given to buildings that meet energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, water efficiency, sustainability and innovation and design process standards. The building’s more noticeable LEED quality is the skylights lining its roof.

The staff of 68 was hired from a pool of more than 2,000 applications that were turned into the store for consideration. New staff members were given from 14-21 days of training that emphasized building relationships with customers, logistics of the company and core store beliefs and values.

“There is not a whole lot of things that we are doing differently at this location – we have very similar structures. We do have Apple products that are available to our customers, but those won’t be displayed at the moment,” Macomber said.

“A location that is similar to ours is in Cedar Hill and the main difference is that we are trying to incorporate a lot more friendly and inviting features,” he said. “One is opening up the store aisle and not so much of blocking off of things. People will be able to see over the shelves and have a better view of products in the store.”

One item the store will have in large supply is a converter box that will allow analog televisions to receive the new digital signal. Government coupons will be accepted toward the purchase of a new box.

The store also will offer its customers the ability to be more interactive with the laptops set up as demonstration models. Unlike other stores where they are bolted to the counter, the laptops will be tethered to a desk, allowing customers to pick them up to get a feel for their weight.

The store will offer GPS and car audio electronic installation and Geek Squad support service will be available to customers in Ellis County.

Macomber also said the store will be more inviting because of the new and emerging technology that will be available for purchase.

“We are very excited to be here and we feel like this is a lot of opportunity for us to extend all the way to Waxahachie and throughout Ellis County,” he said. “It is really about taking care of customers and providing them with that positive experience.

Store hours will be from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday and from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday.

E-mail Andrew at andrew.branca@wninews.com