Richmond, Va. — Circuit City is pledging to offer consistent pricing for all its products whether they are sold in store, online or over the phone.
The level-pricing program, dubbed One Price Promise, will be the crux of the company’s holiday marketing program.
“One Price Promise assures Circuit City shoppers that they will be treated fairly and equally regardless of how they shop with us,” said marketing VP Jeff Maynard. “Customers have been telling us how important this is to them, and we want to give them a strong and competitive value proposition when making purchases.”
The effort focuses attention on Circuit City’s pioneering multichannel platform, which has long been one of the company’s strengths. It also addresses the issue of pricing inconsistencies, found industrywide, that favor one channel over another. The problem most notably came to the fore last year in Connecticut, where the state attorney general investigated allegations by consumers that disparate pricing on the Best Buy’s e-commerce site and in-store Intranet sites may have been used to mislead customers.
According to Circuit City, the program is “a powerful pledge in a national retail environment that all too often favors ‘special’ deals that are hidden to many shoppers.” The chain also cited a new company-commissioned study showing that 47 percent of consumers believe retailers post different prices for the same merchandise in their stores and on their Web sites. More than half of shoppers surveyed (51 percent) said they would place more trust in a retailer who offered the same prices on the Web and in their stores.
Circuit City will promote its One Price Promise with an “aggressive” national advertising campaign that includes print, broadcast, Internet and in-store marketing tools. “We believe this message of consistency, simplicity and transparency will resonate strongly with consumers in today’s world,” Maynard said.
In a statement, vice chairman and acting president/CEO James Marcum noted that “Circuit City pioneered letting customers buy online and pick up their purchases within minutes at our stores. We were one of the first retailers to post unbiased customer ratings and reviews of our products, and our Web site now hosts a thriving community of shared ideas, expertise and experiences. And now, we believe that promising price consistency across sales channels not only is the right and logical next step in retail evolution, but, more importantly, it shows our customers that they will be treated fairly and with respect."