Best Buy Gears Up for Holiday Season With Free Shipping
Best Buy (BBY) is offering free shipping on all online orders during the holiday season and expanding its same-day delivery in time for the most competitive time of year for retailers as it looks to provide shoppers with conveniences they increasingly see as basic.
The electronics retailer said in a blog post on Monday that it would once again waive the $35 minimum order it maintains the rest of the year from October 30 to December 25, the third straight year it does so. Last week, Target (TGT) said it would provide free shipping during the season. Walmart (WMT) is expected to announce its holiday strategy soon, but it has spent much of the last year beefing up its speedy delivery capabilities and adding twists to its e-commerce strategy including providing discounts to shoppers who pick up an online order in a store.
While Best Buy is coming off a slew of strong quarters, bolstered in part by strong e-commerce growth, it will face intense competition from the likes of Walmart, Amazon (AMZN)and Target. So on top of a wide product assortment, Best Buy knows it has to offer top level convenience. “We especially want this to be the case during the holiday season,” said Allison Peterson, president of BestBuy.com.
Best Buy has also expanded same-day delivery to another 15 U.S. metro areas, bringing the total to 40 such markets, a service it offers primarily in partnership with Silicon Valley startup Deliv.
The company’s second-quarter results were its best in years, but executives warned Wall Street Best Buy would face challenges in the following quarters. Like other retailers, Best Buy is heading into a promising holiday season for the industry as a whole: the National Retail Federation has forecast retail sales in November and December could rise as much as 4% in what would be another strong holiday season. Still, the overall market doesn’t guarantee a Christmas season bonanza: Best Buy’s holiday quarter comparable sales in the U.S. fell 0.9% last year, illustrating the fierceness of the season.