Electronics retailers including Best Buy, Walmart and others are about to engage in a fierce Black Friday and holiday shopping price war. The fight is for market share rather than profits at a time of the year when several highly anticipated electronic devices are launched, including the new iPad models, or the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles. The Wall Street Journal has spoken to Best Buy and Walmart execs, who confirmed that the holiday shopping season is of utmost importance for them, as electronics are seen as the main attraction for potential customers.
“You have to win in electronics,” Walmart’s head of general merchandise Steve Bratspies said, adding that deals on electronics are what get people into stores and “can get them to fill up their shopping carts with other items.”
For Black Friday, Walmart ordered 65% more televisions and twice as many tablets as it did last year, while also readying interesting promotions on big-screen TVs and iPads.
But Best Buy will not just sit by and watch the competition make the most of the holiday season. The giant retailer is ready to be as cutthroat as the competition in the fourth quarter of the year, according to an executive. The company will price-match deals from competitors as long as customers ask for them in stores.
The same goes for Walmart, Target and Staples, which are also ready to offer price-matching deals. The former will even price-match Black Friday deals from rivals a week earlier, which is why Best Buy has not yet made all its Black Friday prices public. Online discounts will also be offered by these companies, as they also fight against Amazon’s online deals that are available starting the Friday before Thanksgiving.
Sales of electronic devices are expected to be up this holiday season for the first time in the past three years, according to research from the NPD Group. But electronic retailers may not enjoy increased profits and will have to settle for winning market share, as consumers are apparently more interested in spending money on car purchases and home improvements this year and not on expensive electronics, the Journal said.