Analysts say Best Buy seeks to counteract “showrooming” during a tough holiday season.
With more than two weeks before the Thanksgiving weekend shopping frenzy, Best Buy is trying a $10-off-anything coupon to get shoppers moving now.
Sent by e-mail to customers over the last few days, the coupon is good at stores or Bestbuy.com until Dec. 24.
It’s an effort to lure people into Best Buy’s electronics superstores early in a holiday retail season with six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas than last year.
“Best Buy’s problem is that every year it has fewer store visitors, and the visitors they have are buying an increasing amount of stuff online,” said Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles. “These $10 coupons are an effort to give people a reason to come into the stores. If you come in to get an iPhone accessory, they’ll try to hook you to buy a TV.”
Delivered to customers in the last few days, the coupon arrives in the form of a letter from CEO Hubert Joly, whose smiling image takes up nearly a third of the page.
“Over the past year, Best Buy has been on a journey to transform itself into the kind of retailer that you, your friends and your family would want to shop for technology products and services,” Joly says in the letter. “We believe we have begun to make progress on this journey and want to take this opportunity to invite you to visit our stores.”
Best Buy’s recovery from a year ago, when a fight for corporate control was looming, has been impressive, Pachter said. On Monday, two more investment banks, UBS and Jeffries, raised their outlooks on Best Buy’s financial and stock performance.
That lifted Best Buy shares 4.5 percent to $44.33, their highest close of the year. Best Buy shares have tripled this year and the stock is currently the year’s best performer in the Standard & Poor’s 500.
Steve Alexander • 612-673-4553