* Will match online prices of rivals starting March 3
* Critics have said Best Buy is a showroom for shoppers who buy elsewhere
Feb 15 (Reuters) - Best Buy Co Inc will make its holiday price-matching program a permanent year-round policy in an effort to fend off online rivals that often compete on price.
The world's largest consumer electronics chain will match online prices starting March 3, a spokeswoman said late on Friday.
The retailer will also lower its return policy to 15 days from 30 days, she said.
Critics have long complained that Best Buy had become a showroom for Amazon.com Inc and other online retailers, with shoppers going to its stores to check out electronics like high-definition televisions and then buying them elsewhere for less.
Best Buy, which has struggled to fend off its discount and online rivals, showed the first signs of a turnaround in its U.S. stores recently when it reported flat same-store sales during the holiday season.