Best Products – Catalog Showroom Comparison – 1990

Best Products – Catalog Showroom Comparison – 1990

This college video from 1990 compares the now-defunct Best Products catalog showroom store layouts. The Regency layout vs. the Store-Of-Tomorrow layout. The stores featured in this program are the Niles, Ohio location and the Parma, Ohio location. The Niles location now houses a Save-A-Lot grocery store and a business college (in the upstairs warehouse.) The Parma location has been split into a multi function space which includes a fitness center and a restaurant.

24 Comments

  1. Sammy Jax on June 8, 2022 at 9:43 pm

    I am typing this in a computer at the Best store in 1985. How mind blowing is that?

  2. Silver Banshee on June 8, 2022 at 9:43 pm

    This is weird. I worked in the Gresham, Oregon store and it was technically an SOT, but we had carpeting, an open floor plan, NO racetrack, a lot of self-service merch, toys all year round, and our Giftwares department was NEVER part of Jewelry (it later became part of Housewares). We didn’t have any computers or a Lawn & Garden, and we sold guns in our Sporting department. Also, our Camera department was labeled Camera & Electronics. Our departments were Jewelry, Housewares & Giftwares, Camera & Electronics, Sporting & Seasonal, and Baby & Toys. We also had a small section called Scratch & Dent where merch that had been mildly damaged was sold.

  3. AngryGumball on June 8, 2022 at 9:44 pm

    Memories of this store…the one by me had the conveyor belt toward the exit of the store…grab a ticket, wait, item comes down from upstairs. Always fascinated me as a kid. The signage of the "Store of Tomorrow" is what I remembered seeing as well as the over all interior style. Exterior of the store near me wasn’t anything fancy or off-beat…just a generic "modern" (for the time) store. I believe Service Merchandise had the same thing with that conveyor belt.

  4. Mark H on June 8, 2022 at 9:47 pm

    We had a Best store back in the late 80’s, but it seemed more traditional retail than either of these. I remember buying toys, a telescope and some CDs when they first came out. Around 1990 it became a Best Buy which was confusing because I thought it was the same store/company.

  5. 1978garfield on June 8, 2022 at 9:47 pm

    Is it just me or is the Regency a better layout than S.O.T?

  6. Alex Nejako on June 8, 2022 at 9:48 pm

    Best is where I bought my toys with my allowance. It was never a lot but I earned it.

  7. Fred Daniali on June 8, 2022 at 9:49 pm

    I used to LOOOOOVE Best! I used to shop at the City of Industry, CA shop with my dad. What’s funny about these video is that the narrator points out the store deficiencies, which is so funny…. dude, back up your store man, don’t criticize it! Love the 72p resolution of the 80s camcorders!!!

  8. Allison Preston / Allison's Written Words on June 8, 2022 at 9:50 pm

    The one I shopped at had a conveyor belt that came from the ceiling, and merchandise would be sent down the conveyor belt when you bought a merchandise ticket to the counter. That always seemed so cool to me.

  9. Muziklvr777 on June 8, 2022 at 9:58 pm

    Still have a G-Shock watch I got there in 1989 and a GE AM/FM Radio/Cassette alarm clock from 1993. The anticipation of waiting for your order to roll down the conveyer belt was an exciting experience for a kid in the pre-internet days.

  10. Eric C Productions on June 8, 2022 at 10:00 pm

    I am doing a history video about Best Products. Would it be ok with you if I were to use some of your footage for it? I will put your YouTube channel handle in my video. Let me know, thanks.

  11. Brandie Johnson on June 8, 2022 at 10:00 pm

    The Niles location is now a TJ Maxx. Not a SavALotss

  12. gsurplus on June 8, 2022 at 10:13 pm

    Okay, how many are guilty of the following with their on display computers with BASIC?
    10 PRINT "SEX"
    20 GOTO 10

  13. Anita Diaz on June 8, 2022 at 10:16 pm

    BEST was a unique style of retail store. Perhaps it was prehistoric Amazon because of ordering style. Unfortunately, BEST flame went out in the late 1990s, Just when the Internet arrived and online shopping became a reality. Hoping BEST gets resurrected someday.

  14. peter chon on June 8, 2022 at 10:17 pm

    my favorite store as a kid…

  15. Lisa Terry on June 8, 2022 at 10:21 pm

    As kids, my sister’s and I used to bicker over the catalog when it came. By the time Christmas came the poor catalog was so worn and tatterd from us thumbing through the pages. My Parent did 99% of Christmas shopping there and can anyone remember the mini Pac Man , Frogged, and Donkey Kong electronic games? And what about the Amanda doll? We used to shop at the store in Santa Ana, California on Bristol. My sister still has the Pac Man game. Great trip down memory lane☺

  16. Bob M on June 8, 2022 at 10:26 pm

    I worked at Best #086 Berwyn, PA from 1986 to 1989. And again from 1991 to 1997. With a stint at the Broomall, PA location in 1990 as a warehouse worker. I held various titles during my career at Best and also met my first wife at Best. She worked in the Jewelry Department. Titles I held were, cashier, lead cashier, ISC, warehouse worker, asst warehouse manager, warehouse manager, customer service manager, and presentation manager. Location 086 was a Prototype 1 store. In 1991 the conversion to what this video calls the "store of tomorrow" began. By the time the new design came around to us it was called the Diamond Showroom. Because the race track around the store was in the shape of a Diamond. I really appreciate these videos. Our warehouse was upstairs and we sent the orders down the belt. It was a great job but they went cheap on the pay. I always gave my warehouse workers a score of 49 (top score was 50) on their annual reviews so they received the max raise. And the various store mangers I had always would give me a hard time about approving the reviews. But in the end they did approve the reviews. I remember being an asst manager and getting the Chinese overtime pay at Christmas time. The managers were REQUIRED to work 6 days a week between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have lots of of fond memories working for Best.

  17. Homeplate Media on June 8, 2022 at 10:29 pm

    TJ Maxx is where the VIP Disco/Nightclub used to be. Best Products was in the space currently occupied by Save A Lot, an empty parcel between it and Hobby Lobby (where the toy department was) and the Ross College of Nursing upstairs, in the former Best warehouse.

  18. BRUCIFER’S WAY! on June 8, 2022 at 10:30 pm

    Best is now the store of yester year!

  19. Thomas C on June 8, 2022 at 10:30 pm

    I remember going to the Parma store in your video as a kid with my parents. Now, when I enter the bar that is at that location, I always think of the old Best Products that used to there. It takes me back in time. I was always fascinated by the pneumatic tube system used at Best. Did all SOT and Regency stores use the tube system?

  20. Andy Yoon on June 8, 2022 at 10:36 pm

    When, I was a kid. I saw the ceiling fans at Best Products. Best Products was no longer exist. It defunct in year 1997. 

  21. kristy marshall on June 8, 2022 at 10:37 pm

    Are you sure this isn’t a COLLAGE video? Words matter; used to bug the hell outta me when we would get signage that had misspellings…BEST #219 BELLINGHAM, WA

  22. The One on June 8, 2022 at 10:38 pm

    My family and I used to shop at the Best store during the 1990’s. My family might have shopped there before the 90’s but I have no idea. It was in West Covina, CA and to me, it was just another store my family bought stuff for the house but it seemed like a nice place with some cool stuff I guess. I didn’t really pay too much attention because I was a little kid back then. The store had some jewelry on the left side & further back, I believe they had some electronics like TV’s, VCRs, & maybe games. To my right, they had the household items like vacuums, kitchen appliances, & probably decoratives. My family still have some of those items today, like the tall, wooden table & 1 of the 2 stools that came with it, there’s another table that has an oval glass surface (also wood) but I can’t confirm that one. I remember looking at the front left side of the building, they had a conveyor belt going straight up to the 2nd floor or the ceiling (I don’t know) where boxes come sliding down to the main floor, I’m assuming that’s where people got their stuff. I thought that was cool. The outside of the building was nothing really special compared to the other buildings designed by Best. When the store shut down, I believe it became empty for a while and the building was demolished (not sure which was first) then it turned into Osh Hardware store then it was shut down again and now that building has small stores like Goodwill, a Tire Shop & the Social Security Administration. It’s a shame that the store shut down, but that might have happened eventually from online shopping to COVID.

  23. Anthony Joseph Photography on June 8, 2022 at 10:40 pm

    I had a Best in walking distance to me back in the early 80’s. It was in the New Carrollton Mall. I would buy BB guns and K2 footballs thom them! I was 12.

  24. YesterdayIsNow on June 8, 2022 at 10:41 pm

    Great video! I spent a lot of time browsing in our local Best store in Rockville, MD in the 80s.

    Trivial question – why is there a short clip of the PC game Alley Cat at 0:28? That came out in ‘83. Was Best still using it to demo their computers in 1990?

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