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Best Buy Preps For ‘Hassle-Free' Holiday

9/28/2011 09:22:40 AM Eastern

New York - Best Buy will launch new initiatives and enhance
its return and price-match policies to help provide a "hassle-free" shopping
experience this holiday season.

Dunn

Initiatives include the introduction this fall of specially trained
"connection specialists," a product of the chain's Connected Store pilot, who
will help shoppers navigate Best Buy's wide assortment of mobile products and
services.

Other holiday enhancements include an extended return period
of Nov. 13 through Jan. 24, and a promise to match the price of any
brick-and-mortar competitor on any identical product between Nov. 13 and Dec.
24, excluding Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Best Buy will also provide limited Geek Squad tech support at
no cost on all products purchased between Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, and will provide
a free thirteenth month of coverage with all 12-month service contracts purchased
Nov. 20 through Dec. 31.

CEO Brian Dunn and chief marketing officer Barry Judge
announced the initiatives yesterday at the chain's flagship Union Square store
in Manhattan.

Dunn told TWICE that the company will hire fewer seasonal
workers this year than last, but will offer its full- and part-time Blue Shirts
extended hours in order to have its most experienced associates on the sales
floor during the holiday rush.

Judge said Best Buy will also increase marketing
expenditures "significantly" for online media, where it will employ digital
tools such as interactive inserts, but will keep its holiday ad spend flat to
last year for print and TV.

The company will also continue its no-restocking fee policy
which was initiated earlier this year, and will highlight a wide array of
gift-appropriate products priced under $100.

"We've devoted the past year to collecting insights from our
customers and employees around the ideal holiday shopping experience," Dunn
said. "They've helped us define what a ˜hassle-free holiday' should be."

Dunn and Judge emphasized Best Buy's competitive prices and its
multichannel advantage, which includes a vast in-store selection, a rapidly
expanding online assortment, tech and service support, and a knowledgeable
sales staff.

"The winning formula for the industry is neither a physical
store nor a digital platform alone," Dunn said.

He added that Best Buy is "locked and loaded" with exciting
promotions for Black Friday, which should help incentivize cautious shoppers.

"Consumers are still very careful about how they spend their
money," he said. "They want great value and brands they can trust."

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