Best Buy to make holiday price-matching policy year-round

Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:10pm EST

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* 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 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.

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Comments (2)
krk wrote:
I think price-matching might eventually end up into a tacit price-fixing arrangement among major discount online and B&M retailers once the online sales tax loophole get closed nationwide (now only in some, albeit highly populated states).
I don’t think any of the major discount retailers will then have a high enough cost advantage to wage a “profitable” price war with the goal of driving the competition out of business. Bezos’ widely stated focus on $$ margins rather than % margins rests on this foundation as B&M have been unable to price-match net of sales tax without taking a loss. Now Best Buy is reporting sales wins against Amazon in states where Amazon now collects sales taxes.
I think once that happens, Amazon’s market share gains in at least one major revenue segment like Electronics where price-comparison is easy and practiced would level off and even reverse even while % margins might improve.
The unintended collateral beneficiaries of the demise of Borders and Circuit City might be B&N and Best Buy once the sales tax loophole gets plugged nationwide and B&N/BB will be able to effectively compete with online thru price-matching tactics but with one less competitor on their B&M turf.

Feb 16, 2013 12:35pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Mariola wrote:
KRK……..I Think you are right on the money about B&N as well as BBY both benefiting from Amazon having to collect sales tax for all the remaining states it doesn’t already do it for. THe bricks and mortar retailers will have then leveled the playing field and

Feb 16, 2013 1:56pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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