Black Friday: Best Buy Ad Leaked and Changes In-Store

Best Buy employees help shoppers on Black FridayBest Buy's Black Friday 2010 ad is now leaked, and along with Walmart's Black Friday ad, the deals are out from most of our largest retailers. And with electronics among this season's hottest gifts for Black Friday, Best Buy's ad is among the most anticipated.

Doorbusters aren't terribly plentiful or compelling, but the 12-page ad is strong on top-line brands and merchandise, a refreshing change from house brands and lesser-known manufacturers.

There are TV's from the low end -- a 15-inch LCD model for $99.99 -- to the high -- a Samsung 55-inch LED-LCD HDTV for $1,499.99. That's between $500 and $1,000 off what it's currently for priced elsewhere. And expect to save $150 on any Samsung notebook computer or pick up a Compaq netbook for just $149.99.

Mayor appliances are dramatically discounted -- 50% off in some cases -- with savings of up to $1,000 on a pair of front-loading washer/dryers by LG, and get a Dyson vacuum cleaner for $100 off.

On Apple items that Best Buy, and other retailers, can't technically discount -- it's offering $125 on Macs, $30 gift cards with the purchase of an 8GB iPod Touch for $229.99, and $10 off iTunes gift cards.

Unlike Walmart, Best Buy is not offering free delivery, but is has rolled out in-store pick up for items purchased online up until 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

In-store, expect some changes as well. Best Buy is using a new tool that allows store employees -- Blue Shirts as they're called -- to register customer feedback and get immediate results. There's this widget, or app, that sits on the employee's computer terminal. Voice a complaint or make a suggestion, they click and in less than 20 seconds that information is communicated to people who are actually looking to help. Really.

It's part of a program called VOCE, Voice of the Customer Through the Employee. And when it comes to holiday shopping and improving the in-store experience on Black Friday, Best Buy is already making changes based on this system. For example, there was some initial confusion about where to pick up items bought online, and thanks to a store in Michigan, there's new directional signage and a line queuing process to make it easier, according to Steve Wallin, Senior Director of Consumer Insights at Best Buy.

You'll see more bundles and groupings of accessories closer to bigger ticket items, Wallin told WalletPop in a phone interview. Best Buy is coming out with big promotions in the mobile phone category, and that's another area with more informational signage and bundles, said Wallin.
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