Several years ago, it seemed the sales staff knew what they were talking about; which was something that made it worthwhile to go there for. Now, not so much.
- When my father went to get a new AVR, the rep indicated he needed special speaker cables & connectors to plug into the round connectors on the AVR (my father was used to the spring-clip connectors). Luckily he called me from the store and I informed him he didn't need anything fancy. (Note this wasn't a case of "Buy a Monster cables").
- When I needed new HDMI cables, I went to one of the other stores in Calgary and grabbed what I thought were the right ones. I walked up to the sales counter with my cables and asked the rep if these were the correct ones to connect a Blu-Ray player to a TV and he said they were (I specifically mentioned if these were the full-size HDMI ports). Sure enough, when I got home I discovered I bought cables with mini-HDMI ports on both sides. OK, my bad for not being knowledgeable in the first place (just starting to buy my HT gear), but after clearly saying which cable I needed, the sales rep shouldn't have sold me the wrong one.
Overall, it appears my theory of their service going downhill once they branched off into home electronics proved to be accurate (from my experiences). I know profit margins on computers are horrible (which is what probably prompted them to expand in the first place), but in doing so they moved away from what made them worthwhile to me (competitive prices and knowledgeable staff).