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“There is something that can compete with and beat free-shipping, and that is in-stock, right now, and near me,” said Stephen Gillett, president of Best Buy Digital, global marketing and strategy at the company's shareholder meeting last week. The consumer electronics giant, ground zero in the showdown over showrooming, plans to equip associates with tablets and training so they can help in-store customers do all the online research they need in order to make a purchase. “If [customers] come into your store and experience . . . the right trained person and the right transparency to price and reviews and product, we feel very happy with our odds to engage that customer.” (For more on the meeting, see this Internet Retailer story.)
We applaud Best Buy's effort to welcome and better serve the tech-enabled shopper both in-store and virtually. Shoppers will be the final judge about how well the chain will leverage its strengths, and employees at every level will play a key role in delivering a winning customer experience.