Walmart turned Best Buy's retreat into an advertising diss. Walmart has taken out full-page newspaper ads telling shoppers not to worry about the announced Best Buy closings because Walmart is there to fill the void, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.
"Did your local Best Buy just close?" the ad says. "We have the top brands and low prices."
Big box stores don't often refer to each other by name in marketing, but this was a chance that Walmart couldn't pass up, a retail consultant told the paper. "There is a significant opportunity to win business away," said Carol Spieckerman, president of Newmarketbuilders.
Best Buy recently announced it would close 50 of its larger stores and lay off thousands to save $800 million. That means less competition for consumer electronics vendors in affected regions.
Best Buy's intention to launch smaller stores later in a rebound effort is of no comfort to residents of West Dundee, Ill., however. A sudden closing left the village $200,000 short in tax revenue. The town may have to trim its firefighting force from three to two if the village board approves the cut, which was proposed with other savings measures, the Daily Herald reported.
Best Buy's cutbacks come at an opportune time for Walmart. Walmart de-emphasized its "Save Money. Live Better" slogan in April, Associated Press reported, to further highlight its storewide bargains. The new motto is "Low Prices. Every Day. On Everything."
But when Best Buy surrendered ground on its own, Walmart was able to deliver a "we're here, they're not" message that still promised savings.