Best Buy plans to match internet competitor prices

ABC: Always Be Closing.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Best Buy is planning to match the prices of Internet competitors such as Amazon.com (AMZN) this holiday season, even as it plays down its concerns over shoppers browsing gadgets in stores only to buy them for less online. Best Buy said it wants to turn more shoppers into actual buyers.

The electronics chain also is preparing to offer free home delivery on merchandise that is out of stock in stores, according to a person familiar with the matter, in spite of recent remarks by new CEO Hubert Joly that “showrooming” by consumers has been blown out of proportion. The electronics retailer says it is taking these steps to improve the percentage of people who walk into their stores and leave with a purchase, which is about 40% of shoppers.

The Journal noted that Best Buy’s seemingly contradictory stance underscores the conundrum facing executives at many big-box chains. Aware that they need to adapt aging business models to the realities of mobile- and computer-aided shopping, they don’t want to overreact or lose sight of what made them successful – namely, selection and service.

Best Buy (BBY : NYSE : US$17.68), Net Change: -0.16, % Change: -0.90%, Volume: 2,048,975

Amazon.com (AMZN : NASDAQ : US$242.75), Net Change: -1.47, % Change: -0.60%, Volume: 2,035,169

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