Best Buy's next challenge: Wal-Mart?

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The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) believes that Best Buy's (BBY) next big challenge will be its competition with Wal-Mart (WMT). That might be stretching it. The paper writes that, "Wal-Mart has ratcheted up its once-tiny selection of big-brand television sets, video games and mobile phones to become a fierce contender."

The question is, how many people who buy consumer electronics are willing to shop at Wal-Mart? A study by Scarborough Research reports that the customers at the world's largest retailer are older and less affluent than shoppers at many other large store chains.

It is also worth noting that there are no Wal-Mart stores in large cities like New York.

Wal-Mart may be gearing up to compete with consumer electronics operations like Best Buy, but it is not clear that people in the middle and high income ranges are willing to shop there. Costco (COST) carries a fairly large selection of consumer electronics and so do a large number of regional operators like PC Richards.

If Wal-Mart wants a piece of the market for TVs, PCs, and video games, it has a lot more competition to face than Best Buy.

Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St.

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