Best Buy Zeroes in on Wal-Mart

Now that Circuit City is gone, Best Buy has another target for dominance in the consumer-electronics space. Except this time it’s Wal-Mart.

A new Best Buy ad campaign features a customer calling one of its stores about details on a television. The person is calling from a Wal-Mart. Says the Best Buy representative on the phone: “You’re obviously calling us because we’re knowledgeable. We’ve got the price match guarantee, so why don’t you come on in?”

Youch! So we take it the message is that it’s tough to get good service in the electronics section of a Wal-Mart?

These ads are launching at a time when Best Buy is cutting its marketing budget and profits and same-store sales are down at the chain. Can the company convince a budget-weary consumer not spending as much on big-ticket items that it can get the same deal there as Wal-Mart?


5 Responses to “Best Buy Zeroes in on Wal-Mart”

  1. 1 Eric June 18, 2009 at 7:51 am

    Best Buy is Brilliant with their marketing strategies. This ad is cutting to the core issues and Wally world will have to sharpen their spear if they want to compete with the leader in Retail technologies. Just dropping their price will not be enough. Staffing the department will not be enough. Having qualified technical assistance is something that wally world will have to take a deep long look at. Walmart is known for keeping their staff as lean as possible. To compete in this arena, walmart will have to spend some money.

  2. 2 Derrich June 18, 2009 at 8:10 am

    I just saw this ad for the first time last night. Amazing! Like Eric said, having knowledgable staff on hand at WalMart should be top of mind. Regardless, I believe WM will shrug off the call to arms and keep it simple.

    • 3 John June 18, 2009 at 4:10 pm

      Perception is reality. WalMart carries a number of models in the high end electronics that are not sold any where else (they look and feel the same, but are discount models- made to merchandise only at WalMart) so Best Buy can’t price match what they don’t carry. Great shot though!

  3. 4 TheJudge June 18, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    These two companies don’t exactly do to the same thing. BB is a full service electronics store. WM discounts. The risk here is that Best Buy is only going to highlight (especially for that half of the buying public that doesn’t need the full service) the amazing deals you can get on electronics at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart doesn’t want to be a full service electronics store, it won’t beef up its staff, it will just be content to compete on price… and people who have tried to compete with them on price haven’t fared well. Just a personal example, photography is a hobby of mine and although I’m not in the market for a new camera, if I were, Wal-Mart has the Canon 50D with the 28-135mm lens kit on-line for $1,239 ….BB has it for $1,399. That’s significant. A bit of an exaggeration, but it’s almost like Starbucks taking aim at McDonald’s on price, instead of the other way around. I hope BB is really ready to compete.

  4. 5 Tom June 25, 2009 at 10:45 am

    I just checked a number of TV models between Wal-Mart and Best Buy, and Best Buy was cheaper on all of them (I checked Samsung and Sony). On top of that, Wal-mart does not carry the top end models for those brands.

    I want Best Buy to suceed. Wal-mart is counting on people’s brand recognition, ignorance of model line differences, and perception that Wal-Mart is always less expensive.

    If Wal-Mart were to suceed what retail outlet would you turn to purchase the newest/best models of electronics?

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