Showrooming at Best Buy
Best Buy is a consumer electronics retailer with nearly 2,000 stores worldwide. In 2012, the rising popularity of price-matching apps for mobile phones made price differences between retailers transparent, online and offline. Shoppers' desire to test electronics first-hand before purchase drove them to use Best Buy stores as "showrooms" to see new products and then search for better deals on their smartphones. This case examines how brick-and-mortar stores battle showrooming through changes in product assortment, the development of apps, loyalty programs and changes in pricing policy. The case asks whether Best Buy can survive by permanently price-matching their online-only competitors, primarily Amazon, despite having higher costs.