Retail Chains Aim to Show and Sell

Brick and mortar retailers of electronics – Best Buy, Target and WalMart - will be more nimble and price aggressive this holiday gift season, in competing with  on-line-only  competitors.

To get away from its profitless status as  the “showroom” for products which consumers then buy cheaper on the web, Best Buy plans to match prices consumers find on the internet, in select categories. At present,  about 40 percent of BB store visitors actually leave with a purchase. “We have a tremendous opportunity to increase that close rate,” said company spokesman Matthew Furman.

For its part, WalMart is experimenting with same day delivery of products  ordered on-line – a dream shared by Amazon.  Haven’t seen the latter pull off the stunt, as yet, though a recent Amazon order placed on a Sunday night (10 p.m.)   did show up early Monday morning!

This weekend, Target is holding its “biggest electronics event of the year” through its website. Pre-pre-Black Friday specials  available online through Saturday include a  Samsung LCD 32- inch  720p  TV marked down from $349 to $279, a Westinghouse 55-inch 1080p LCD cut to $599, a fully featured Panasonic 3D 60-inch P60UT50 discounted $500 to $1,299 and a rear projection Mitsubishi WD-92840 – a 3D TV with a colossal  92-inch picture – slashed from $6,999 down to $3,279.

 Target deals also include Blu-ray players from Panasonic and Toshiba in the $69-$79 range. And some high megapixel count digital cameras from brands like Canon, Nikon, Panasonic and Sony boast flying-off-the-shelf (temporary) prices – including a Nikon 16 megapixel, 5x optical zoom pint-and-shoot model at $99.