All Articles Tagged "Best Buy"
Time for Christmas shopping. Yes… already.
If you don’t have the cash to buy all the presents on your list just yet, one option is layaway — especially if you want to buy toys, gadgets and other items that might be sold out by the time you have saved up enough.
The basics: First you open a layaway account at the store and, in most cases, pay a small service fee. Then you make an initial down payment, typically 10 to 25 percent of the total. When the entire amount is paid, you take your goodies home. But if you make your payments late or change your mind, there are extra fees.
Kmart and Toys “R” Us have just announced their layaway programs for 2012. Kmart is offering free layaway both in-stores and online. The free layaway option is for early shoppers who wish to avoid the risk of top toys selling out. Kmart is offering free layaway from now until November 17, 2012.
Toys “R” Us has launched its “Hot Toy Reservation List” program, allowing shoppers to select their toys early without fear they will be gone at the last minute. Any of the toys on the hot list can be put on layaway with a 20 percent deposit. The “Hot Toy Reservation” option will be available until Halloween (October 31), and Toys “R” Us has free layaway, but terms and the dates of the special layaway programs many vary from store to store. After October 31, there will be a $5 service fee. Consumers must make a 20 percent down payment and pay 50 percent within 45 days. Items must be paid in full by December 16.
Wal-Mart has eliminated its $10 cancellation fee and lowered the fee it charges for opening a layaway account from $15 to $5. And, Wal-Mart layaway customers will get their $5 back as gift cards after making their final payments. The nation’s largest retailer is also offering more time for customers to make their payments—instead of 60 days, they now have 90 days. All items must cost at least $15. Total layaway purchase must be at least $50. Wal-Mart’s layaway program for Christmas started September 16 and runs through December 14.
Best Buy charges a five percent service fee with a 25 percent down payment. Payments must be made every two weeks over eight to 12 weeks. Items must cost at least $250.
And Sears is expected to launch its layaway promotion in October.
While layaway programs sound tempting, there are drawbacks. “Critics warn that fees for the increasingly popular layaway programs could wind up costing people much more than if they’d paid by credit card,” reports The Kansas City Star . “A layaway purchase is like a very expensive loan that doesn’t allow the borrower to use the goods until he or she pays off the loan.”
Classes are slowly coming back in session, so it’s no time to slack on school supplies for your kids (though some people are noticeably waiting a little longer to buy those supplies). With various technologies out there geared toward students, sending your children to school with just a ruler, a pen and some paper probably won’t be enough.
If you are thinking about buying a laptop, smartphone or tablet for your 14 or 15-year old you are thinking right.
“Parents today see the value in helping their kids get an early start on becoming more comfortable with technology, which is why you’re seeing more tech in smaller and younger hands every day,” advises a Best Buy spokesperson, who spoke with us via email. He notices the change in technology affecting even how normal school supplies are marketed. “You’ll also notice that the growth in technology has also altered other back to school supplies. For example, many backpacks now include a pocket for a laptop.”
Access to the Internet is also becoming an increasing way students are getting access to their homework, e-textbooks and other class material.
Making Your Purchase Affordable
Nowadays, it’s important that parents budget for these technological needs. Although a laptop or other technologies might seem rather costly, there are ways to make these classroom necessities a little more affordable. “It’s always a good idea to start with your school and ask about any software site license programs they may have, as well as group technology buying programs,” recommends a Best Buy spokesperson.
If you are not tech savvy enough to handle another piece of equipment, many stores have salespeople willing to help you understand and work the device. (Your kids might know how to work it already!)
Online versus In-Store Shopping
If you are more of an in-store shopper, use the back-to-school sales to your advantage and go into a store for your child’s latest gadget.
“Parents looking at new technology should stop into local stores with their children to check out new gadgets to better get a feel for how well the keyboard fits them, how heavy the device might be if it needs to be portable” and other features and benefits, adds Best Buy.
Online technology shopping is also another great (and increasingly popular) option, with plenty of back-to-school and online shipping and delivery deals that will increase your savings. Check your daily email newsletters and the gadget’s official website and you might find discounts for students beginning high school and college.
What Gadget Works For Your Child
If you have a younger child who is in grade or middle school, many parents should be looking for a desktop PC, if you don’t already have one. Besides being able to monitor your child’s computer access in an open place in the home, desktop PCs are less likely to be destroyed.
For students in high school and beginning college this year, laptops are more of a benefit to their academic success. Laptops are great for older students who have more classwork requiring note-taking, going online for research, typing up essays and for students who are “leaving the nest” for college. Once your child hits college, a laptop is almost essential for every major.
From the grade-school level to high schoolers, here are a few gadgets you should consider purchasing for your child to maximize their success this school year.
Shopping is so great. So so great. But even something as simple and perfect as this changes with the times.
Increasingly, brick-and-mortar shops are serving as showrooms for online purchases. More people are shopping on their mobile devices. Technology like apps that scan products to find you the best deals across retail outlets and the coming hi-tech fitting rooms will change the way we buy our wardrobes, electronics and other items. And, of course, everyone has their credit card information and shipping address saved on their favorite e-commerce site to make online shopping that much easier.
On the one hand, this is good news. Apps like Shopkick are showing people (lots of people) how they can save money. More information via mobile devices and online sites means a more customized shopping trip for customers. Waste less time, get what you need, get in and get out.
A new and improved site for Lucky magazine promises to be even more direct by letting you shop from their website. They’re even making digital stickers available to flag items you like online. And, chances are, you’re already getting your daily deals emails from sites like LivingSocial and Ideeli. You can buy everything you need and never leave the house.
But all this progress can have drawbacks. Providing more information to do all that mobile shopping could be made available to retailers, which could cause privacy concerns for some. Those who enjoy a good shopping trip could eventually find less merchandise at the stores to linger over.
And there will likely be cuts to the retail workforce.
“Experts aren’t predicting the end of the in-store experience, but it stands to reason that as with other industries, technology might improve efficiency while setting retailers on a path toward a leaner workforce,” writes USA Today. Already, in an effort to revive lagging business and compete with companies like Apple and Amazon, Best Buy is shutting 50 stores and planning to cut $800 million in costs over the next three years. It’s possible even more stores will close. The coming health care law also bodes poorly for retail workers who may find themselves cut all together rather than adding medical benefits.
Are you using all of the latest technology to do your shopping? What do you think of these changes?
by Evette Brown
As two of hip-hop’s elite superstars, Jay-Z and Kanye West are used to being heavily criticized for their decisions. The hip-hop heavyweights are both respectively infamous for different reasons, but having come together to create an album and initiate a nationwide tour might be entering them into a battle that neither one is prepared to wage.
After months of anticipation, their collaborative debut Watch the Throne is set to be released to all nationwide retailers on August 12th. Here’s where the conflict begins.
According to Billboard, rather than releasing the album to all retailers on August 12th, the duo and their record label are following in the footsteps of Jay-Z’s superstar wife, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, and others by offering iTunes and Best Buy separate preferential windows to sell the album exclusively. From August 8th to August 12th, iTunes will be the only retailer with permission to sell the album. From August 12th until August 24th, Best Buy will be the exclusive retailer with the deluxe edition of the CD.
Even before the official release date, iTunes is sweetening the deal for fans by offering them the opportunity to pre-order the album. With this pre-order comes an exclusive download of “Otis,” Jay-Z and Kanye’s blockbuster single. Other retailers are not admitting defeat in this battle without a fight against the artists, Island Def Jam, and Universal Music Group.
58 independent retailers, including The Music Experience, Newbury Comics, Amoeba Music, Looney Tunes, and Cactus Records penned an open letter to the two superstars, expressing their disappointment for not allowing them to be included in the first week sales of the album and urging them to rectify this tense situation.
According to Forbes, these independent retailers’ response presents a double standard for the MCs. When Beyoncé exclusively released the deluxe edition of 4 to Target, she received zero criticism and the same lack of backlash applied to Lady Gaga and Amazon’s deal which allowed Born This Way to be sold for $0.99 during an exclusive window.
However, the question is, do these independent retailers have valid reasons for protesting against these exclusive windows? Statistics point towards yes.
For superstar artists such as Kanye West and Jay-Z who are guaranteed to sells hundreds of thousands of copies in the first week, the deluxe edition of an album can account from 50 percent to 70 percent of the first two-week sales. Since Best Buy is allowed this two-week window, it guarantees that the retailer will be given an advantage against the competition, including independent record stores.
Based on first-week sales for The Blueprint III and My Dark, Twisted Fantasy, sources are predicting that Watch the Throne will have first-week sales of 400,000 units, with an even split of 200,000 between digital and physical releases. Experts are projecting that the deluxe version will account for 50 percent of digital sales, which indicates that “iTunes and Best Buy will account for 300,000 units. Between the two exclusive windows, 75% of the demand is expected to be satisfied within 10 days.”
Eric Levin, owner of Criminal Records and head of the Alliance of Independent Media Stores, disagrees with Jay-Z and Kanye West’s decision to allow these windows. “A two-week window will be disastrous for music retailers,” he told Forbes.
Carl Mello, Newbury Comics head of purchasing succinctly agrees with Levin. “The main element in all of these exclusives is that label executives forget what is convenient for the customer,” he told Forbes. “Making the album available in certain versions at certain times is not the most friendly thing for the customer, for whom it will feel like a game of hide and seek. At first, due to the iTunes exclusive, when Newbury Comic customers come into our stores looking for the album, we won’t be able to sell it to them. Then, when we have it beginning on August 12, we won’t be able to sell them the deluxe version.”
Some independent retailers are refusing to sell the album after the windows period has expired and are vowing not to carry Jay-Z or Kanye Wests’ albums in the future. Could this decision be disastrous for the artists in the long run?
Trans World Vice President of music and new media, IshCuebas, believes so. “Look at what happened to the Beyonce album ’4,’ when Target got the exclusive version of the album,” he told Billboard. “After the first two weeks, sales collapsed because the rest of retail wouldn’t support the album.”
The winner of this battle will not be determined until the numbers are released on Nielsen Soundscan in two weeks.
(Entertainment Weekly) — The roll-out of Jay-Z and Kanye West’s collab album Watch the Throne is threefold: On Aug. 8, both standard and deluxe versions hit iTunes digitally. Next comes the standard physical version (CD and albums), which gets to formal stores Aug. 12. Best Buy, however, will have the deluxe version exclusively. Then on Aug. 22 it’s out everywhere else. It’s the second and third part that has indie record store owners up in arms. Peeved that Best Buy will be the only place to buy the Throne CD, the Record Store Day folks sent an email out to their indie store brothers and sisters addressed to the rhymers.
(Reuters) – Best Buy Co agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit accusing the largest U.S. electronics retailer of job discrimination, paying a total of $200,000 to the nine named plaintiffs plus as much as $10 million for legal fees and costs. The lawsuit was filed in 2005 in U.S. District Court in Oakland, California, by eight current and former employees and one job applicant. They accused Best Buy of infractions such as denying desirable job assignments and promotions and transfers to African-American, Latino and female employees. Best Buy agreed to a four-year consent decree, during which it would implement “comprehensive affirmative relief addressing the hiring, assignment, promotion and exempt compensation claims.”
(Daily Finance) Given that Best Buy’s livelihood (BBY) depends on consumers spending on nonessential goods, one might suspect the company would be in a bit of a predicament right now. That’s not the case, says Goldman Sachs (GS).
The investment bank lifted its rating on Best Buy shares to buy from neutral on Friday, making the case that the retailer could benefit from an economic recovery as well as an improved product cycle. And it doesn’t hurt that the stock is trading at a reasonable multiple compared to its competitors, according to Goldman’s report.