November 17, 2010, 1:52 PM

Best Buy plugs holiday shoppers into limited free shipping

The offer applies to all CDs, Blu-ray disks, DVD movies, and gaming software and accessories.

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Best Buy Co. Inc. is introducing a limited free shipping program on the cusp of the shopping frenzy that officially kicks off with Thanksgiving next week.

The offer of free shipping, which is valid through Dec. 21, applies to ground shipping of multiple items and SKUs, including all CDs, Blu-ray disks, DVD movies, and gaming software and accessories.

Best Buy, No. 10 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, is limiting the free shipping to smaller items. But to accommodate larger items such as laptops, netbooks, iPads, iPods, game hardware, certain TVs, appliances and some others, Best Buy in September improved its buy online, pickup in store program by aiming to make in-stock items available for pickup within 45 minutes of an order being placed.

“We know consumers are looking for value and convenience this holiday season, and we’re continuing to provide them with exciting ways to improve their shopping experience,” says BestBuy.com senior vice president and general manager John Thompson. “With free shipping and Store Pickup Plus, in addition to our wide selection of must-have technology gifts, competitive prices and round-the-clock service, we’re giving our customers more choices than ever to complete their holiday shopping with ease.”

Best Buy began ratcheting up its online delivery options well ahead of the holidays. In September, with the rollout of Store Pickup Plus, Best Buy began allowing consumers to designate someone other than the purchaser to pick up an item, as long as the consumer shows a government-issued photo ID and the order number. The retailer previously required consumers to present the credit card used for the purchase in order to pick up the item.

Best Buy joins a number of other big retailers increasing their online shipping and delivery options this Christmas. Earlier this month Walmart.com (No. 6), the e-commerce arm of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., began providing free home shipping through Dec. 20 with no minimum purchase requirement. The offer applies to about 60,000 products, including all electronics, along with many others such as toys, home appliances, jewelry and video games.

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