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Only about 40 percent of Best Buy shoppers leave the store with a purchase in hand, but the retailer wants to bump this percentage up a bit this holiday season

Brick-and-mortar retailers have been battling with online stores for years, but Best Buy is looking to reclaim a place in shoppers' hearts (and wallets) this holiday season with online price matching and free home delivery.

Best Buy announced that it will match the prices of online competitors like Amazon in order to attract more customers. This is huge for Best Buy, considering it has lost a significant amount of business to Amazon alone. With e-tailers like Amazon, customers can shop from the comfort at home, receive lower prices and quick delivery.

But Best Buy isn't betting on price matching alone. It's heating up the competition with free home delivery of products that are out-of-stock as well.

Right now, only about 40 percent of Best Buy shoppers leave the store with a purchase in hand, but the retailer wants to bump this percentage up a bit this holiday season.

"We have a tremendous opportunity to increase that close rate," said Matthew Furman, Best Buy spokesman.

Best Buy isn't alone in its holiday efforts to beat Amazon. Wal-Mart is currently testing a same-day delivery service for customers that who buy popular items off of the Wal-Mart website during the holidays. Toys "R" Us is another brick-and-mortar that is working to speed up delivery and offer price matching -- however, its price matching will not include Amazon, only brick-and-mortar competitors.

An interesting aspect of the holiday season is that a growing number of shoppers have started using brick-and-mortars for showrooms -- or checking out products in person -- then going home to buy the products online.

While this is another hurdle that brick-and-mortars must overcome, strangely, they're embracing this model.

"Let's be the best showroom," said Mike Duke, Wal-Mart CEO. "Let's be the best place where customers want to go and get the experience."

According to the brick-and-mortar stores, they can still offer things that Amazon can't. For instance, human customer service and options for purchase like online and brick-and-mortar stores. They added that Amazon now must collect sales tax in many U.S. states, so prices are not quite as low on the site as before.

To further hinder Amazon's sales, Wal-Mart and Target have stopped selling the e-tailer's Kindle Fire tablet.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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RE: We hardly knew ye
By FITCamaro on 10/13/2012 10:53:39 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah that's why I like B&M stores. I can go in, look around, and get what I need. I never ask the employees for help because I don't need it. I do the research myself and am just going there to buy. For video games I can just walk in and get it for the same price as Amazon just plus sales tax, supporting the local economy + helping pay for schools, roads, cops, etc.

I find it ironic that those who complain the most about how bad things like roads and schools are, are also usually those who don't want to pay sales taxes on items.

RE: We hardly knew ye
By EricMartello on 10/13/2012 12:23:16 PM , Rating: 3
I find it ironic that those who complain the most about how bad things like roads and schools are, are also usually those who don't want to pay sales taxes on items.

Money people earn is taxed around 15-35% or more, fed & state combined.

There may be additional local taxes in around 1%-2% in certain cities or counties.

Sales tax varies widely but is typically between 6-8%.

Why do people complain about sales tax? Maybe because they already paid as much as 1/3 of their income or more in taxes already. Governments do not have a lack of revenue - they have a lack of intelligent budgeting and spending policies. They need to do more with what they already have.

helping pay for schools, roads, cops, etc

I guess you haven't heard of property taxes, school taxes and tolls?

Also, sales tax applies to the full purchase price, unlike income tax which is adjusted based on deductions and exemptions, so its effective rate is the same as its posted rate. You may fall into the 35% tax bracket, but through deductions and exemptions, you can reduce your effective rate by as much as 10%.

Sales tax OR income tax - OK...sales tax AND income tax - NO WAY.

RE: We hardly knew ye
By Reclaimer77 on 10/13/12, Rating: -1
RE: We hardly knew ye
By jimbojimbo on 10/13/2012 12:33:43 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, I pay tons in property tax but have no kids so I don't feel one bit bad about skipping out on some things. Not to mention Chicago has THE highest sales in the country so why would I want to pay that?

RE: We hardly knew ye
By FITCamaro on 10/13/2012 2:29:31 PM , Rating: 1
Here's an idea then. Don't live in Shitcago.

RE: We hardly knew ye
By theapparition on 10/15/2012 10:00:49 AM , Rating: 2
But statistically, you'll have children one day.

I'm rather financially conservative, but I can at least understand the benefit to society for educating children. Or building a bridge and new highway on the other side of the state that I'll never use.

RE: We hardly knew ye
By Kepler on 10/13/2012 1:12:45 PM , Rating: 1
About a million % this.

Also keep in mind that whoever you work for pays taxes too (less non profit orgs and such). I wonder how much more we could get paid if businesses weren't paying whatever 40 or 50% tax rates on profits.

And bringing up roads and schools in the previous post?

I see 15 road workers putting down a street over the course of five months, with shotty asphalt that will require it be patched and redone over the next 10 years. People act like the government has done us a great favor, as if we wouldn't have made roads if they weren't there.

If roads were done by private contractors, they would be done well, and efficiently. If not, then another private contractor is selected next time. When roads are done by the government, they take as much time as they can -- because there is no accountability, and it only helps them to spend more time on it. They also don't care about quality, because making bad roads is job security.

I'm pretty sure schools have been getting worse and worse over the last 50 years. Collecting taxes and throwing money at them isn't helping. While I'm not against public schools, I am against the power that the teachers' unions hold. We should be able to fire teachers for horrid performance. Is there any wonder why students who come from private schools do so well compared to public school students? Those teachers have to do well to keep their job. Public school teachers have to not bang their students to keep their job.

RE: We hardly knew ye
By btc909 on 10/14/2012 2:04:58 AM , Rating: 3
Asphalt the biggest scam in the US. 10 years, if you are lucky. Finally in So Cal the freeways are being switch concrete and whenever you have an area that has a rough area this affects the traffic speeds. Of course these areas tend to be bridges which are still cover asphalt.

I guess 68.9 cents taxed per gallon of gas isn't enough in Kalifornia.

I pulled my Daughter out of public school 3 years ago, 43 kids to a class, plenty of ESL students, the goal was to get the total number of kids down to 38. BYE.

RE: We hardly knew ye
By Stuka on 10/14/2012 4:16:01 PM , Rating: 2
You can't blame the asphalt for your crappy asphalt. California has to use the cheapest they can find. They have too many miles to cover, too many people using them and are hemorrhaging money elsewhere. As far as the accountants are concerned, the road is still 80% functional, even if it rides like a washboard.

My asphalt is fine in AZ. They paved over all of our concrete highways about a decade ago and they're still going strong.

In some areas they do use crap asphalt on purpose and it is an economic reason, but not the one you think. They usually do it because the area is growing so fast they'll need to tear up the street before the useful life of the surface has been reached. Around here, within 10 years a street can go from two lane rural, divided two lane, to four lane divided with sidewalks. Not to mention within that same time frame they are always cutting into it to lay electrical, cable, sewer, traffic lights and sensors.

So, yeah, asphalt is not your enemy.

RE: We hardly knew ye
By mcnabney on 10/15/2012 9:57:55 AM , Rating: 2
Uhm, don't know where you live, but road construction is almost always private companies contracted by the government. Regular road maintenance (cleaning, snow removal, and patching) are done by city crews, but resurfacing and anything major are all bid contracts. So those lazy workers you see taking six months to add a lane to a one mile long stretch of highway are the result of private enterprise .

Mismanaged urban schools are a mess. Most suburban districts that aren't in decline have great schools. I am on the school board of my district and we have an excellent academic record. Teachers get fired all the time for poor performance. It does require outside guidance though - a principal can't just say a teacher sucks and fire them. When things like that happen you get little fiefdoms setup around principals who want everyone to kiss his/her ass. I ran into that back in the 90's when I was a teacher in an urban district. Well managed districts assess teacher performance using a broad metric that includes not just test performance, but student feedback, master teacher observation, and managerial oversight.

Perhaps next time you add to a discussion you should make sure you know what you are talking about.

RE: We hardly knew ye
By theapparition on 10/15/2012 10:05:58 AM , Rating: 3
You are completely correct about private companies doing road work. The local DOT biggest roadwork projects usually are to just fill potholes.

All the big projects are privately contracted.

However, because nothing gets done without political involvement, the contracts usually have such fun clauses as being overseen by DOT, specifying that the project must use union labor, concrete must be bought from company X (who's the mayor's brother's best friend), and you have to have 10min or breaks for every 20min of work.

RE: We hardly knew ye
By Rukkian on 10/15/2012 10:54:49 AM , Rating: 2
While I agree that teachers unions are out of control, I don't think it is teachers that are the main reason for the declining of public education. You see many less parents involved in their children's education (even more so in poorer districts). Add to that the notion that kids can't be left behind and that kids with major issues have to be left in the room with 30 other kids taking 10-15% of the teachers time, and there is just not enough resources. Parent are often unwilling to admit that their kid may be the issue, or need extra help.

RE: We hardly knew ye
By FITCamaro on 10/13/2012 2:26:42 PM , Rating: 1
I think you forget who you're talking to. I pay plenty of my income in other taxes to.

I just don't mind LEGITIMATE taxes. Yes there are other taxes too.

The way our country should work is that we should pay not much for the legitimate functions of the federal government, more than we currently do to our state governments for things we actually approve of, and some to local and state through property and sales taxes.

RE: We hardly knew ye
By KFZ on 10/13/2012 12:47:35 PM , Rating: 2
There is nothing ironic about that correlation of people because you clearly removed it from your rear cavity. If you actually listen to the complaints about Best Buy and other B&M stores vs. online retailers, the #1 reason to shop online is savings, but it comes in many forms: gas, vehicle use, stress and the most invaluable *time*. Time better spent or absolutely needed elsewhere.

I've never heard anyone boycott B&M because of sales tax. In fact, many online retailers do it. Here's my complaint about B&M: I could've spent $50USD on data cables at my local retailers. I cursed under my breath, went home and logged onto Newegg and my shopping cart looked like a movie ticket stub.

But let's get back to how inane your "irony" is. There is absolutely no connection between hardworking citizens complaining of wasteful spending and malicious politics that's ruined education and the total racket that is road construction, which is about perpetuating contract work rather than having a road that could last longer than a goldfish without needing repairs--to the inconvenient, dirty, annoying and downright waste of time that can be most B&M experiences.

You don't have to trust me on this one, the vast majority of people will pay the same tax rate online as they do in-person to avoid the burden of going out. Gas is well over $4 here, and many people, such as parents and students, can't just drop everything to spend 2 hours looking in their area for a new winter coat. Get real.

And for that matter, think of the times you have gone the distance to a store only to find out their selection is garbage. Think I'm going to buy myself a (non-Apple) MP3 player from Target? You could cover their selection with a refrigerator!

I could go on, but now if you'll excuse me I might go tweak this custom PC I've designed for a girl on Newegg from my chair, that would take me all day with an hour of driving to figure out isn't worth the whopping store premium at the nearest Fry's.

RE: We hardly knew ye
By FITCamaro on 10/13/12, Rating: 0
RE: We hardly knew ye
By Dr of crap on 10/15/2012 8:37:27 AM , Rating: 2
But one thing -
The time saved is then spent watching TV, cable or satellite which they also can't afford. AND not playing with or interacting with their kids which then makes them hard to handle in schools, then needing MORE teachers / helpers, then needing more tax money.... It's all a big circle.

RE: We hardly knew ye
By Shadowmaster625 on 10/15/2012 8:27:40 AM , Rating: 2
The condition of our roads has very little to do with how much money people spend online. It has a great deal more to do with the fact that something as simple as painting a road stripe requires 3 outrageously high union wages, with benefits.

RE: We hardly knew ye
By Netscorer on 10/15/2012 1:38:22 PM , Rating: 2
I don't buy your argument that shopping at large chain stores helps local economy. Not for a second. Your primary support for local economy comes from property taxes. Sales taxes are distributed on a state level and it is not a guarantee that they will all end up where the point of sell originated.
I have zero sympathy for large chain stores, like Wal Mart, Best Buy, Barnes&Nobles, Sears, Target, etc. They destroyed local economies by pushing small mom&pop shops out of business and are known for very hard negotiation tricks with local jurisdictions, allowing them to bypass most of the local taxes. So the only effect they have on local economy are those low wage jobs that they provide and this still does not cover all jobs lost when small businesses had to close their doors once the big chain moves in on their territory.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
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