Best Buy price match: Sales force can drop prices to match Web rivals

Best Buy Co. said it will match prices of online competitors such as on some items as the electronics giant prepares to compete aggressively for shoppers during the holiday season.

The Richfield, Minn., retailer will also offer free shipping to customers on products that are out of stock in stores, upping the chances that visitors to a brick-and-mortar location will actually purchase something instead of checking out rivals via their smartphones -- the “showrooming” effect that has bedeviled many big-box retailers.

But the price-match program -- which will be offered Nov. 4-17 and again from Nov. 27 to Dec. 24 -- will apply only to appliances and electronics, Best Buy spokeswoman Amy von Walter told the Associated Press. Customers must ask for the reduced price, which will be granted based on the judgment of employees on the sales floor.

Many retailers including Best Buy have guaranteed price matches during the holiday season for local stores, but it is unusual to also match those of online competitors, which typically offer lower prices.

Other big box retailers are scrambling as well to add services during the holidays to attract tech-savvy shoppers.

Discount giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is experimenting with same-day delivery in certain areas so shoppers who purchase online have no waiting period before getting their goods. Toys R Us Inc. has upped the number of exclusive toys they carry so shoppers cannot get the same items anywhere else.


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