From The Wall Street Journal:
Best Buy Co. is planning to match the prices of Internet competitors such as Amazon.com this holiday season, even as it plays down its concerns over shoppers browsing gadgets in stores only to buy them for less online.
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 Chief Executive Hubert Joly that “showrooming” by consumers has been blown out of proportion.
The Richfield, Minn., retailer says it is taking these steps to improve the percentage of people who walk into their stores and leave with a purchase—about 40% of shoppers. “We have a tremendous opportunity to increase that close rate,” said Matthew Furman, a spokesman for Best Buy.
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—that is, selection and service.
In its own maneuver, Wal-Mart Stores is testing a same-day delivery service in select markets for customers who buy popular items online during the holidays. It is an attempt to leverage the strength of its massive store base, essentially turning the spaces into online order fulfillment centers for people who don’t want to wait a couple of days for delivery.
Continue reading the rest of the story on The Wall Street Journal