Don't Waste Your Money: 'Showrooming' hurting Best Buy stores - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Don't Waste Your Money: 'Showrooming' hurting Best Buy stores

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(Toledo News Now) - Have you heard of the term "showrooming?" It is when shoppers use a local store as a showroom, then make their purchase off the Internet. It is hurting one big store, and could affect its future.

Remember when big box stores, like Best Buy, were putting local retailers out of business? Now Best Buy is in trouble, closing stores and losing its CEO in recent weeks.

Many shoppers are wondering if is it safe to shop there and if it still will be in business next year.

The storm clouds are gathering over Best Buy with the announcement that it is closing 50 of its big box stores.

Customer Jeff Bailey hopes the chain is able to survive.

"I like it a lot. It's one of the stores I prefer, as far as electronics go," said Bailey.

But sales are down and Christmas season crowds have been getting smaller and smaller.

How did such a retail giant end up this way?

Jim and Violet Fousz said Best Buy's high-definition television displays no longer excite shoppers now that everyone has an HDTV.

"A lot of people, I think, have as many televisions as they need, and there's so much competition everywhere," said Violet Fousz, a Best Buy shopper.

In the meantime, former Best Buy shopper Tina Lawrence echoes what Wall Street analysts have been saying: Many shoppers are using Best Buy as a showroom for Amazon.

"I think what a lot of people are doing is they are using stores like Best Buy to compare prices, see what they want, and then they go online to see what's cheaper," said Lawrence.

The Los Angeles Times said Best Buy can be saved by offering expertise and good service, which is why shoppers flock to the Apple store. But without anything unique or special, it could eventually go the way of Circuit City and other retailers that failed to adapt.

While some on Wall Street wonder if it will survive, many retail analysts believe Best Buy will still be around in 10 years, but with a reduced size and role.

Bottom line: For now, it is safe to shop there. Best Buy is not going anywhere in the near future.

As always, don't waste your money.

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