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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 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.

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