October 30, 2008, 12:00 AM

Circuit City plugs in a single-price promise for web and stores

In a move to spark cross-channel holiday season sales, Circuit City Stores Inc. will charge customers the same price in stores and catalogs as it does on the web.

Internet Retailer

In a move to spark cross-channel holiday season sales, Circuit City Stores Inc. will charge customers the same price in stores and catalogs as it does on the web.

“Customers have been telling us how important this is to them and we want to give them a strong and competitive value proposition when making purchases,” says vice president of marketing Jeff Maynard.

Circuit City will promote its One Price Promise guarantee online and in national holiday print and broadcast advertising campaigns, the retailer says. “This message of consistency, simplicity and transparency will resonate strongly with consumers,” Maynard says.

“It’s not a game-changing move, but it’s a good move to earn customers’ trust so they will shop again,” says Jim Okamura, senior partner for retail consultants J.C. Williams Group Ltd. “We’ve seen inexcusable vagueness on the part of retailers whose multi-channel pricing isn’t clear.”

A survey of more than 400 U.S. consumers conducted by SPSS Inc. and commissioned by Circuit City found that 47% of respondents say they believe retailers post different prices for the same merchandise in different selling channels, while 51% say they would place more trust in a retailer who offers the same prices.

Details of the new pricing policy are posted online at CircuitCity.com. Shoppers can check the price of an item on CircuitCity.com and pay the same price on the web or in any of the retailer’s stores. If a store item is tagged with a higher price, the shopper can purchase the item at the web price. The One Price Promise is specific to tagged items in stores and on CircuitCity.com, and the guarantee might not apply to DVDs, CDs, video games, bundled offers, clearance merchandise or open-box items, the retailer says.

paul@verticalwebmedia.com

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