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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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Still going the wrong direction
By dgingerich on 10/14/2012 9:57:16 AM , Rating: 2
The biggest problem I have with Best Buy is them having things in stock. I go in, look for what I want, and it's not there 9 times out of 10. They need to fix that first and foremost.

The second problem is that the layout is confusing. I can appreciate having certain high value/ low profit departments in the back and the low value/ high profit sections up front. I get that. What I don't like is the way they've laid out their stores to be a maze of low priced garbage that I can't even find my way over to the computer department.

The last one is selection. There just isn't the selection there used to be back when I used to work there. The last one I went to, near Park Meadows shopping center in Colorado, had half a dozen laptops, not counting the Macs, and none of them were worth anything. They were all using Intel integrated graphics. They had all of two external hard drives, at 500GB and 640GB, neither USB 3.0. Everything was out of date, low powered, slow, general consumer garbage. Perfect for the idiot masses, but noting of substance. In the movie department, they had reduced it to 3 aisles. It was actually smaller than Target's movie department. Their music department was down to one aisle. That really confused me. Their music and movie department was more than half the store when I worked there. Now it's down to a footnote.

Until they fix these things, I won't be shopping there again.

"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference
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