Best Buy is back at it. For the second year in a row, the consumer electronics retailer is offering free shipping on online purchases during the holiday shopping rush. The offer went live this past Sunday (a week earlier than last year) and will be in effect until Dec. 24. According to the StarTribune, online sales accounted for 15.6 percent of Best Buy's U.S. sales in last year's fourth quarter. While the retailer did better than a lot of its competition, comparable sales were down 1.7 percent from the previous year.
Total Retail's Take: Everybody loves free shipping, and Best Buy is getting an early start on the holiday season. However, even though the company introduced free shipping pretty early this year, there's concern that it won't help much. Best Buy continues to fight downward sales, especially in the smartphone category. Competition from Amazon.com and other e-commerce electronics retailers have made this year not as merry as previous years. Hopefully Best Buy's efforts in revamping its operations, fulfillment centers and shipping process will result in a better holiday performance this year.