Best Buy joins 'showroom syndrome' fight

Oct. 13, 2012 at 1:01 PM
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RICHFIELD, Minn., Oct. 13 (UPI) -- U.S. electronics chain Best Buy Co. said it will push back against a consumer trend known as showroom syndrome during the holiday shopping season.

Retailers, with Best Buy as a prime example, have been struggling to deal with the new shopper habit of looking over merchandise in brick-and-mortar stores, and then using mobile-friendly apps and browsers on smartphones to find cheaper prices and order items they viewed in-store from online retailers.

Best Buy said it would not only match prices with the likes of Inc., but it would offer free delivery for items not in stock, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

The retailer said it needs to create more sales out of its in-store traffic. About 40 percent of the customers who walk through a Best Buy outlet make a purchase at the store, the retailer based in Richfield, Minn., said.

"We have a tremendous opportunity to increase that close rate," said company spokesman Mathew Furman, using the sales term that means to close on a deal.

Other retailers are putting together strategies to combat the shopper habit of using brick and mortar outlets for window shopping, and then going online to make the purchase.

Walmart Inc. is using some stores to try out same-day deliveries, hoping to appeal to impatient shoppers.

"Let's be the best showroom. Let's be best place where customers want to go and get the experience," said Walmart Chief Executive Officer Mike Duke this week at an investor conference.

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