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.
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."