In order to stop the growing trend of people exclusively using the internet for their holiday shopping needs (and hopefully draw some straying customers back in), Best Buy is planning on price-matching internet prices on the goods offered in their storeroom.
The Wall Street Journal quotes a source “familiar with the matter,” who says that the company will match the prices of online competitors like Amazon to curb the practice of “showrooming.” That, of course, is when potential buyers visit a brick and mortar store to search for products, and then go home and buy them for a reduced price online – thus using Best Buy as their own personal showroom.
Best Buy has recently said that the problem of “showrooming” has been widely over-reported, but it’s apparently enough of an issue to warrant this sort of semi-drastic measure. It’s currently unclear exactly which online properties Best Buy plans to price match. Amazon is an obvious choice, but the company could run into some real problems if include some of the cheaper online electronics retailers like NewEgg in the program.
Best Buy has had a rough couple of months on multiple fronts. In August, the company reported a 90% drop in profits in their second-quarter earnings. They’ve also had to hire a new CEO following a scandal involving the previous CEO Brian Dunn and allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate.
According to WSJ, Best Buy will also offer free home delivery on out-of-stock products as well this holiday season in another attempt to make sure people keep coming through the doors.