Scott Wheway remembered my prediction that Best Buy wouldn’t have it all it’s own way in the UK, and is determined to prove it wrong.

At the start of the year it’s traditional for editors to make predictions which always turn out to be wrong, and one of mine was that Best Buy might not make the impact everyone expects when it arrived in the UK. Well, I went down to the first store in Thurrock for a preview yesterday and it was the first thing Best Buy Europe CEO Scott Wheway brought up when I went over to say hi to him and Carphone Warehouse CEO Roger Taylor.

“I nearly choked on my cornflakes when I read that,” he said, before laughing, “thought I’d get you on the back foot before starting.” I have to admit he succeeded a little and I also feel inclined to eat my words, as it was a very impressive experience.

The store is well laid out, easy to navigate and with some unique touches such as the Green Tech zone showcasing electric cars and the darkened private room for people to try out games. There are the luxury roomsets to try out home cinema which visitors to its US stores will be familiar with, and a big emphasis on laptops and mobiles at the front of the store, an embodiment of Charles Dunstone’s vision of what he calls ‘the connected world’. I’m not sure it will all work - dedicating a big area in an electricals store to CDs, which Best Buy does in the US, feels a bit counter-intuitive with the way the physical music market is going.

I was very impressed with the staff, or Blueshirts as they’re known. For sure it was a media preview day so of course they’d be on best behaviour, but what impressed me was what they said when they weren’t in front of their bosses, where quite privately they enthused about Best Buy being better than retailer X or retailer Y who they worked for before, raving about the open culture and the nine-week training course they’d all been on. Their product knowledge was also fantastic, although to be fair they could have told me anything and I’d have fallen for it as I’m no technology expert.

The store opens on Friday and its worth a trip to Thurrock to see it. There’s a steely determination in Wheway to get it right and that means they won’t rush the roll-out, but over time it will have an impact. Can you hear the sound of words being eaten?