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Best Buy waives free shipping minimum in first holiday season salvo

A Best Buy store in Huntington Beach, CAA Best Buy store in Huntington Beach, CA
A Best Buy store in Huntington Beach, CAPhotograph by Diana Haronis — Moment Editorial/Getty Images

Best Buy (BBY) is leaving nothing to chance this holiday season.

The electronics retailer on Thursday said it would waive its $35 minimum for free shipping from October 25 to January 2 in a move that makes clear it plans to compete hard with the likes of Amazon.com (AMZN), Walmart (WMT), and Target (TGT) during the key Christmas season.

Best Buy is enjoying something of a renaissance after a few rough years, when a significant portion of consumer electronics shopping shifted online. But the retailer has countered that with, among other tactics, shop-within-shops for top brands like Apple and Samsung.

Last holiday season, Best Buy surprised Wall Street with a comparable sales increase of 2.8% and followed that up with increases in the first two quarters of the current fiscal year. But Amazon’s Prime Day sales in July made it perfectly clear that the online retail giant will compete aggressively in the next two months.

Best Buy on November 7 will hold holiday events at 400 of its stores, including Black Friday-like deals, making them available to all customers. That’s a break from last year, when they were limited to loyalty program customers.