Big Boxers Offer HD Price Guarantees

As a spirited price war for flatscreen HD units continues in the opening round of the holiday selling season, some big box stores are further enticing would be buyers with guarantees that whatever sales prices they put up right now will not be followed by better price points immediately following the New Year. Circui
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As a spirited price war for flatscreen HD units continues in the opening round of the holiday selling season, some big box stores are further enticing would be buyers with guarantees that whatever sales prices they put up right now will not be followed by better price points immediately following the New Year.

Circuit City, which appears to be on a successful rebound as a major CE chain following a few fallow years, is making it clear in its frequent newspaper inserts that it guarantees to refund 125 percent of the difference of any competitor's advertised lower price for the same HD model. The guarantee will be in effect for 30 days beyond the purchase date.

Over at Best Buy, the big-box retailer will refund 110 percent of the difference of a competitor's advertised lower price on the same HD model in a guarantee good through Feb. 5, 2007. Meanwhile, other big boxers like Costco typically have relatively liberal post-holiday return policies, according to published reports.

So far the big retail winners in the first full week of the holiday shopping season appear to be the major CE chains like Best Buy and Circuit City, according to the Associated Press, which reports "bigger than expected sales for flat-panel TVs." The sole exception, thus far, seems to be the biggest boxer of them all, Wal-Mart. Last weekend it let Wall Street know that same-store sales for November would be weaker than expected.

Although CE retailers appear to be doing a brisk business in the early stages on HD and other electronics, Wall Street is not yet fully confident that it will be a successful season for sales, overall.