NORTH FAYETTE (KDKA) — They call it a soft open. For a few days now, hhgregg’s four local stores opened for business with little fanfare.

With locations in Wilkins Township, Cranberry, Pleasant Hills and North Fayette, the company is banking on filling the gap left by Circuit City and giving Best Buy some competition.

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“Over 400 appliances on display, 110 TVs – we have everything the customer needs,” said Todd Young, an hhgregg sales manager.

Product selection is pretty much the same as the competition – appliances, TVs, DVD players and cameras, but one interesting item is mattresses. Consumers will also notice that hhgregg takes a different approach to customer service.

Unlike Best Buy, its sales staff works on commission, but they say that’s incentive to provide good service and an advantage for customers.

“It’s going to be shock when we greet them and we give them our name. We make it very personal,” said Young. “We do all of their comparison shopping; we take them to the Internet to show them we’re the lowest price in town, and if we’re not, we make sure we are.”

So, KDKA’s Jim Lokay picked a few items out, and did some comparisons.

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A Hoover SteamVac is on sale for $158.99 at hhgregg. But Best Buy has it for $175.99. A Sony Bravia 46-inch LCD TV goes for $854.87 at hhgregg, compared to $879.96 at Highway Appliance in Elco, and $898.99 at Best Buy.

A Samsung 3D Blu-Ray player is $189.99 at hhgregg, but lower at Best Buy at $175.99.

Also, a Whirlpool WFG23 range is $598.22 at hhgregg, but almost $50 less, $552.49 at Best Buy. But like most retailers, they’ll often honor the competition’s prices and then some.

“We match it and beat it by 10 percent,” said Young.

Three of the locations were home to long-gone retailers Circuit City and CompUSA, but Young says unlike those former rivals, they’re here to say.

“Been in business since ’55; we’ve grown tremendously. We’re debt-free, and we’re excited about that,” Young added.

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